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'This edition is limited to one thousand 
copes of which this is No. X.Jt.Q.... 



Cbe JIutbor Hffcctionauiy Dedicates Cbi$ Book 

Co Oeorge merrintan of Bristol, Connecticut 

"Cbe Cruest, noblest and Best 

Triend 1 €»er Bad" 



Copyrighted, 1905, by Frederick Calvin Norton 
Printed by Dorman Lithographing Company at New Haven 



Governors 

Of 

Connecticuf 

Biographies of the Chief Execitives of 

THE Commonwealth that gave to the 

World the First Written 

Constitution known to 

History 



By FREDERICK CALVIN NORTON 



Illustrated zvlth reproductions 
from oil paintings at the State 

Capitol and facsimile sig- 
natures from official documents 



MDCCCCV 

Patron's Edition published by 

THE CONNECTICUT MAGAZINE 

Company at Hartford, Connecticut 






LIBRARY of CONGRESS 
TwoCoDies Received 

'JAJV 29 I90H 

CcDyrlffht Entry 

P^-c, / 9 / 9d6 
CLASS a, XXc, No, 

COPY B? 



By IV a y of Introduction 



WHILE I was living in the home of that sturdy Puritan 
governor, WilHam Leete, — my native town of Guil- 
ford, — the idea suggested itself to me that inasmuch 
as a collection of the biographies of the chief executives of 
Connecticut had never been made, the work would afford an 
interesting and agreeable undertaking. This was in the year 
1895. 1 began the task, but before it had far progressed it offered 
what seemed to me insurmountable obstacles, so that for a time 
the collection of data concerning the early rulers of the state was 
entirely abandoned. A few years later the work was again 
resumed and carried to completion. The manuscript was requested 
by a magazine editor for publication and appeared serially in 
" The Connecticut Magazine." 

To Rev. Samuel Hart, D.D., president of the Connecticut 
Historical Society, I express my gratitude for his assistance in 
deciding some matters which were subject to controversy. Many 
current but unreliable anecdotes I have omitted after careful con- 
sideration, and much care has been taken to record entertainingly 
only facts that are of essential interest and worth to the public-at- 
large. Knowing the inclination of both dates and data to become 
distorted, I secured the services of Mr. Frederick E. Norton, of 
the editorial staff of the "Hartford Courant," — a name-sake by 
chance, — to edit my original manuscript by verifying every 
fact and date herein given by his own original research. 



B y IV a y of i u t r o d u c t i o n 

I am under obligation to several persons for many favors 
shown and valuable assistance cheerfully given in securing the 
material for these sketches. My thanks are especially due to the 
late Charles Jeremy Hoadly, LL.D., long time librarian of the 
Connecticut State Library. One of the ripest historians of this or 
any other generation, his vast storehouse of historical information 
was always open to investigators. Dr. Hoadly furnished many 
facts for the compilation of the following sketches which the 
author desires to publicly acknowledge. 

Professor Franklin Bowditch Dexter, assistant librarian of 
Yale University, placed at my disposal much valuable information 
in the shape of rare books, pamphlets, etc., not elsewhere to be 
found, which assisted materially in the preparation of these sketches. 
Few scholars of this or any other state are as ready and willing to 
assist students of history in their investigation as Professor Dexter. 

Among the volumes consulted may be specially mentioned 
the " History of Hartford County," edited by Dr. J. Hammond 
Trumbull and Mr. Charles Hopkins Clark. This work contains 
some valuable articles by Miss Mary K. Talcott on the original 
proprietors of Hartford, and from these articles were obtained 
many facts of interest regarding the early governors of Connecticut 
colony. The " Civil and Judicial History of Connecticut," edited 
by the late Judge Dwight Loomis, contributed many important 
details regarding the lives of the chief executives who were mem- 
bers of the legal profession. Trumbull's, HoUister's and Barber's 



By Way of I n t r o d v c t i o n 

general histories of Connecticut, were freely consulted, as well as 
that unique and brilliant volume, " Connecticut : A Study of a 
CommoTiu:ealth Democracy^'' by the late lamented Professor Alexander 
Johnston of Princeton University. 

All that I have attempted in this the first collected account 
of the governors of Connecticut is to place in a concise and per- 
manent form the principal events in the life of each governor from 
John Haynes of Coddicot to Henry Roberts of Hartford. 

Fifty-eight men have been chosen governors of Connecticut 
in the last two hundred and sixty-seven years. Including the 
royal governor, popularly known as a usurper, there are therefore 
fifty-nine biographies in this book, appearing in the consecutive 
order in which each one was first called to the governorship. 

The subject has been more and more fascinating during the 
years that I have worked at it; and now that 1 am about to dis- 
miss the last page of my book it is with the hope that the work 
will fill a place in the biographical history of our Commonwealth. 

It is indeed my own fond intention to make, at some time in 
years to come, when time permits, a still further study of the lives 
of the founders of Connecticut. 

Frederick Calvin Norton 

Bristol, Connecticut 
First Day of December 
Nineteen Hundred and Five 



Digest of t h 



Governors of Connecticut] 



Biography 



I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 

VII 
VIII 

Royal 

IX 

X 

XI 

XII 

XIII 

XIV 

XV 

XVI 

XVII 
XVIII 

XIX 

XX 

XXI 

XXII 

XXIII 

XXIV 



Full Name of Governor 



I 

7 

13 

19 

25 

28 

35 
41 

47 

57 
63 
69 

75 
81 

87 
93 
99 

107 
"3 

119 

127 

133 
139 

145 
151 



John Haynes 

Edward Hopkins 

George Wyllys 

Thomas Welles 

John Webster 

John Winthrop 

William Leete 
Robert Treat 

Sir Edmund Andros 

Fitz-John Winthrop 
Gurdon Saltonstall 
Joseph Talcott 
Jonathan Law 
Roger Wolcott 
Thomas Fitch 
William Pitkin 
Jonathan Trumbull 

Matthew Griswold 
Samuel Huntington 

Oliver Wolcott 

Jonathan Trumbull, 2ud 

John Treadwell 

Roger Griswold 

John Cotton Smith 

Oliver Wolcott 



Born 



1594 
1600 

1570 
1598 

1606 

1612 
1622 

1637 

1639 
1666 
1669 
1674 
1679 
1700 
1694 
1710 

1714 
1731 

1726 
1740 

1745 
1762 
1765 
1760 



Birthplace 



Coddicot, Eng. 

Shrewsbury, Eng. 

Fenny Compton, Eng. 
* London, Eng. 
*Warwickshire, Eng. 

Groton Manor, Eng. 

Dodington, Eng. 
*Pitminster, Eng. 

London, Eng. 

Ipswich, Mass. 
Haverhill, Mass. 
Hartford, Conn. 
Milford, Conn. 
Windsor, Conn. 
Norwalk, Conn. 
East Hartford, Conn. 
Lebanon, Conn. 

Lyme, Conn. 
Windham, Conn. 

Windsor, Conn. 

Lebanon, Conn. 

Farmington, Conn. 

Lyme, Conn. 

Sharon, Conn. 

Litchfield, Conn. 



Education 



University 



Trinity College 
(Dublin, Ire.) 
For the Bar 



Royal Court 

Harvard College 
Harvard College 

Harvard College 
Self-Educated 
Yale College 

Harvard College 

Self-Educated 
Self-Educated 

Yale College 

Harvard College 

Yale College 

Yale College 

Yale College 

Yale College 



*Not fully authenticated. 



T^ a b u I a t c d Contents of this V o I v m 



Early 


Occupation 


Residence 




Date of 


Years of 








Occupation 


When Chosen 


When Chosen 


Service 


Service 


Died 


M 


Biography 




Governor 


Governor 


< 








< 




Wealthy 


Land Owner 


Hartford 


45 


1639,41,43,45, 


8 


1653-4 


59 


I 


Emigrant 


(planter) 






47.49.51.53 










Merchant 


Trading 


Hartford 


40 


1640,44,46,48, 


7 


1657 


57 


n 


Emigrant 


Merchant 






50,52,54 










Wealthy 


Land Owner 


Hartford 


72 


1642-43 


I 


1645 


75 


HI 


Emigrant 


(planter) 
















Wealthy 


Land Owner 


Hartford 


57 


1655, 58 


2 


1660 


62 


IV 


Emigrant 


(planter) 


















Land Owner 


Hartford 




1656-57 


I 


1661 




V 




(planter) 
















Barrister 


Adventurer 
and Scholar 


New London 


51 


1657, 59-76 


iS 


1676 


70 


VI 


Barrister 


Magistrate 


Guilford 


64 


1676-83 


7 


1683 


71 


VII 


Planter 


Military 
Leader 


Milford 


61 


1683-98 


15 


1710 


89 


VIII 


Military 


Military 


New York 


50 


1687-89 


lyr. 
6 mos. 


1714 


77 


Royal 


Military 


Military 


New London 


60 


1698-1707 


9 


1707 


69 


IX 


Theology 


Clergyman 


New London 


42 


1708-25 


17 


1724 


58 


X 


Planter 


Military 


Hartford 


56 


1725-42 


17 


1741 


72 


XI 


Lawyer 


Judiciary 


Milford 


68, 


1742-51 


9 


1750 


76 


XII 


Weaver 


Military 


Windsor 


72 


1751-54 


3 


1767 


89 


XIII 


Clergyman 


Lawyer 


Norwalk 


54 


1754-66 


12 


1774 


74 


XIV 


Military 


Judiciary 


Hartford 


72 


1766-69 


3 


1769 


75 


XV 


Clergj'man 


Merchant- 
Lawyer 


Lebanon 


59 


1769-84 


15 


1785 


75 


XVI 


Farmer 


Lawyer 


Lyme 


70 


1784-86 


2 


1799 


85 


XVII 


Cooper 


Lawyer 


Norwich 


55 


1786-96 


9 yrs. 
8 mos. 


1796 


65 


XVIII 


Military 


Physician 


Litchfield 


70 


1796-97 


I yr. 
II mos. 


1797 


71 


XIX 


Military 


Statesman 


Lebanon 


57 


1797-1809 


II yrs. 
8 mos. 


i8c9 


69 


XX 


Merchant 


Judiciary 


Farmington 


64 


1809-II 


I yr. 
9 mos. 


1823 


78 


XXI 


Lawyer 


Statesman 


Lyme 


49 


181I-12 


I yr. 
5 mos. 


1812 


50 


XXII 


Lawyer 


Judiciary 


Sharon 


47 


1812-17 


4 yrs. 
7 mos. 


1845 


80 


XXIII 


Military 


Manufacturer 
(Statesman) 


Litchfield 


57 


1817-27 


10 


1833 


73 


XXIV 


t Ages are given 


in full years, but in 


some cases lacke: 


' a fe^ 


V weeks of the age 


recorded. 









D / g e 


S t 


of the Gove 


/■ n 


r s of Co 


11 11 e c t i c u t 


Biography 


u 
XI 

S 

3 

P4 


Full Name of Governor 


Born 


Birthplace 


Education 


XXV 


i6i 


Gideon Tomlinson 


1780 


Stratford, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXVI 


167 


John Samuel Peters 


1772 


Hebron, Conn. 


Self-Educated 


XXVII 


173 


Henry Waggaman Edwards 


1779 


New Haven, Conn. 


College of 
New Jersey 


XXVIII 


177 


Samuel Augustus Foote 


1780 


Cheshire, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXIX 


183 


William Wolcott Ellsworth 


1791 


Windsor, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXX 


189 


Chauncey Fitch Cleveland 


1799 


Canterbury, Conn. 


Self-Educated 


XXXI 


195 


Roger Sherman Baldwin 


1793 


New Haven, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXII 


203 


Isaac Toucey 


1796 


Newtown, Conn. 


Self-Educated 


XXXIII 


209 


Clark Bissell 


1782 


Lebanon, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXIV 


215 


Joseph Trumbull 


1782 


Lebanon, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXV 


219 


Thomas Hart Seymour 


i8o3 


Hartford, Conn. 


Military Institute — 
Middletown 


XXXVI 


225 


Charles Hobby Pond 


1781 


Milford, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXVII 


229 


Henry Button 


1796 


Waterbury, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXVIII 


237 


William Thomas Minor 


1815 


Stamford, Conn. 


Yale College 


XXXIX 


243 


Alexander Hamilton HoUey 


1804 


Lakeville, Conn. 


Private Seminary 


XL 


249 


William Alfred Buckingham 


1804 


Lebanon, Conn. 


Bacon Academv 
(Colchester) 


XLI 


259 


Joseph Roswell Hawley 


1826 


Stewartsville, N. C. 


Hamilton College 


XLII 


269 


James Edward English 


1812 


New Haven, Conn. 


Public School 


XLIII 


277 


Marshall Jewell 


1825 


Winchester, N. H. 


Self-Educated 


XLIV 


2S5 


Charles Roberts Ingersoll 


1821 


New Haven, Conn. 


Yale College 


XLV 


293 


Richard Dudley Hubbard 


1818 


Berlin, Conn. 


Yale College 


XL VI 


30 r 


Charles Bartlett Andrews 


1834 


Sunderland, Mass. 


Amherst College 


XLVII 


309 


Hobart Baldwin Bigelow 


1834 


North Haven, Conn. 


Private Academy 


XLVIII 


315 


Thomas McDonald Waller 


1840 


New York, N. Y. 


Bartlett High School, 
New London 


XLIX 


321 


Henry Baldwin Harrison 


1821 


New Haven, Conn. 


Yale College 


L 


327 


Phineas Chapman Lounsbury 


1S41 


Ridgefield, Conn. 


Public School 


LI 


333 


Morgan Gardner Bulkeley 


1837 


East Haddam, Conn. 


Hartford High 
School 


LII 


341 


Luzon Bunett Morris 


1827 


Newtown, Conn. 


Yale College 


LIII 


347 


Owen Vincent Coffin 


1836 


Mansfield, N. Y. 


Private Seminary 


LIV 


353 


Lorrin Alanson Cooke 


1831 


New Marlboro, Mass. 


Norfolk Academy 
Yale College 


LV 


359 


George Edward Lounsbury 


1838 


Pound Ridge, N. Y. 


LVI 


365 


George Payne McLean 


1857 


Simsbury, Conn. 


Hartford High 
School 


LVII 


337 


Abiram Chamberlain 


1837 


Colebrook, Conn. 


Williston Seminary 


LVIII 


^81 


Henry Roberts 


i8!;3 


Brooklyn, N. Y. 


Yale University 





















^ a b u I 


a t c d C 


^ n t e 


/; / 


S f 


/ h i 


s V 





/ u m e 


Early 


Occupation 


Residence 


c 

D C 

^ o 

4)J3 
MO 
< 


Date "of 


Vears of 




•d 




Occupation 


When Chosen 
Governor 

Lawyer 


When Chosen 
Governor 


Service 


Service 


Died 


< 


Biography 


Tutor 


Fairfield 


47 


1827-31 


4 


1854 


74 


XXV 


School Teacher 


Physician 


Hebron 


59 


1831-33 


2 


1858 


85 


XXVI 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


54 


1833-34. 35-38 


4 


1S47 


68 


XXVII 


Shipping 


Farmer 


Cheshire 


54 


1834-35 


I 


1846 


66 


XXVIII 


Merchant 


















Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hartford 


47 


1838-42 


4 


1868 


77 


XXIX 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hampton 


43 


1842-44 


2 


1887 


88 


XXX 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


51 


1844-46 


2 


1863 


70 


XXXI 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hartford 


50 


1846-47 


I 


1869 


73 


XXXII 


School Teacher 


Lawyer 


Norwalk 


65 


1847-49 


2 


1857 


75 


XXXIII 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hartford 


67 


1849-50 


I 


1861 


79 


XXXIV 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hartford 


42 


1850-53 


3 yrs. 
I mo. 


1868 


60 


XXXV 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Milford 


72 


1853-54 


II mos. 


1861 


80 


XXXVI 


School Teacher 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


58 


1854-55 


I 


1869 


73 


XXXVII 


School Teacher 


Lawyer 


Stamford 


40 


1855-57 


2 


i88q 


74 


XXXVIII 


Store Clerk 


Manufacturer 


Salisbury 


53 


1857-58 


I 


1887 


83 


XXXIX 


Surveyor 


Manufacturer 


Norwich 


54 


1858-66 


8 


1875 


72 


XL 


Lawyer 


Editor 


Hartford 


40 


1866-67 


I 


1905 


78 


XLI 


Carpenter 


Manufacturer 


New Haven 


55 


1867-69, 70-71 


3 


l8go 


78 


XLII 


Tanner 


Manufacturer 


Hartford 


44 


1869-70, 71-73 


3 


1883 


58 


XLIII 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


52 


1873-77 


3 yrs. 
9 mos. 


1903 


82 


XLIV 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Hartford 


59 


1877-79 


•2 


1884 


66 


XLV 


Lawyer 


Lawyer 


Litchfield 


45 


1879-81 


2 


1902 


67 


XLVI 


Machinist 


Manufacturer 


New Haven 


46 


1881-83 


2 


1891 


57 


XLVII 


Newsboy 


Lawyer 


New London 


42 


1883-85 


2 






XLVIII 


School Teacher 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


63 


1885-87 


2 


1901 


80 


XLIX 


Store Clerk 


Manufacturer 


Ridgefield 


45 


1887-89 


2 




— 


L 


Office Boy 


Insurance 
President 


Hartford 


51 


1889-93 


4 




— 


LI 


Blacksmith 


Lawyer 


New Haven 


65 


1893-95 


2 


1895 


68 


LII 


School Teacher 


Banker 


Middletown 


58 


1895-97 


2 




— 


LIII 


School Teacher 


Manufacturer 


Wmsted 


65 


1897-99 


2 


1903 


72 


LIV 


School Teacher 


Manufacturer 


Ridgefield 


61 


1899-1901 


2 


1904 


66 


LV 


Newspaper 


Lawyer 


Simsbury 


44 


1901-03 


2 




— 


LVI 


Reporter 


















Civil Engineer 


Banker 


Meriden 


66 


1903-05 


2 




— 


LVII 


Lawyer 


Manufacturer 


Hartford 


52 


1905 






— 


LVIII 

























Portraits of the Governors of Connecticut 



Reproductions from Official Oil Paintings in the State Library in 
the State Capitol at Hartford, Connecticut — Collected under 
the supervision of Edward Bailey Eaton and reproduced by 
the Randall studio at Hartford — Facsimile signatures from 
official documents in the archives of the State Library — 
Acknowledgment is here made of courtesies extended by 
George S. Godard, State Librarian 

Portrait 

Number Opposite 

I— JOHN WINTHROP from portrait at State Library by George F. Wright 
of Hartford from the original, by an unknown artist, in possession of the 
New York branch of the Winthrop family 28' 

2_FITZ JOHN WINTHROP from portrait at State Library painted by an 

unknown artist 56 

3— GURDON SALTONSTALL from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright from a portrait in possession of Yale University 62 

4_jONATHAN TRUMBULL from portrait at State Library painted by 
George F. Wright from portrait by the Governor's son, Col. John Trum- 
bull 98 

5— SAxMUEL HUNTINGTON from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright from the painting in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. 112 

6— OLIVER WOLCOTT from portrait at State Library painted by Ralph 
Earle about 1784, and presented to the State by Oliver Wolcott's grandson 
in 1830 118 

7_JONATHAN TRUMBULL, Jr., from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright after the original by Sully 126 

8— JOHN TREADWELL from portrait at State Library painted bv George 
F. Wright after a portrait iu the possession of the Connecticut Historical 
Society by an unknown artist 132 

9— JOHN COTTON SMITH from portrait at State Library painted by Albert 

H Emmons of Hartford, from a miniature 144 

10— OLIVER WOLCOTT, Jr., from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright after an original by Stuari i So- 
il— GIDEON TOMLINSON from portrait at State Library painted by George 

F. Wright after a portrait by an unknown artist 160 

12— JOHN S. PETERS from portrait at State Library painted by George F. 

Wrieht 166 ' 



Portraits of the Governors of C o n n e c t i c u t 



Number Opposite 

13— HENRY W. EDWARDS from portrait at State Library painted by George 

F. Wright from a daguerreotype 172 

14— SAMUEL A. FOOTE from portrait at Stare Library painted by George F. 

Wright from an unsign ed portrai t 176 

15— WILLIAM W. ELLSWORTH from portrait at State Library supposed to 

have been painted by George F. Wright, but unsigned 182 - 

16— CHAUNCEY F. CLEVELAND from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright 188 

I7_R0GER S. BALDWIN from portrait at State Library painted by George 

F. Wright 194 , 

18 — ISAAC TOUCEY from portrait at State Library painted by unknown 

artist 202 

ig — CLARK BISSELL from portrait at Slate Library painted by George F. 

Wright 208 

20— JOSEPH TRUMBULL from portrait at State Library painted by George 

F. Wright 214 

21— THOMAS H. SEYMOUR from portrait at State Library painted by George 

F. Wright 218 

22— CHARLES H. POND from portrait at State Library painted by George F. 

Wright 224 

23— HENRY DUTTON from portrait at State Library painted by George F. 

Wright 228 

24— WILLIAM T. MINOR from portrait at State Library painted by unknown 

artist 236 

25— ALEXANDER H. HOLLEY from portrait at State Library painted by 

Henry Wilson 242 

26— WILLIAM A. BUCKINGHAM from portrait at State Library painted by 

Albert H. Emmons 248 

27— JOSEPH R. HAWLEY from portrait at State Library painted by Jared B. 

Flagg, N.A., of New Haven 258 

28— JAMES E. ENGLISH from portrait at State Library painted by Jared B. 

Flagg, N. A. , of New Haven 268 . 

29— MARSHALL JEWELL from portrait at State Library painted by William 

R. Wheeler of Hartford , 276 

30— CHARLES R. INGERSOLL from portrait at State Library painted by 

Jared B. Flagg, N. A., of New Haven 284 

31— RICHARD D. HUBBARD from portrait at State Library painted by Wil- 
liam Lazarus of New York 292 

32— CHARLES B. ANDREWS from portrait at State Library painted by 

George F. Wright '. 300 ' 



Portraits of the Governors of C o n n e c t i c ii t 



Nomber Opposite 

33— HOBART B. BIGELOW from portrait at State Library painted by Harry 

I. Thompson of New Haven 308 

34— THOMAS M. WALLER from portrait at State Library painted by Harry 

L Thompson of New Haven 314 

35— HENRY B. HARRISON from portrait at State Library painted by Harry 

I. Thompson of New Haven 320 

36— PHINEAS C. LOUNSBURY from portrait at State Library painted by 

Harry L Thompson of New Haven 326 

37— MORGAN G. BULKELEY from portrait at State Library painted by 

Charles Noel Flagg of Hartford 332 

38— LUZON B. MORRIS from portrait at State Library painted by Harry I. 

Thompson of New Haven 340 

3g_0. VINCENT COFFIN from portrait at State Library painted by Charles 

Noel Flagg of Hartford 346 

40— LORRIN A. COOKE from portrait at State Library painted by Charles 

Noel Flagg of Hartford 352 

41— GEORGE E. LOUNSBURY from late photograph by Randall— There has 
since been placed a portrait at State Library by Charles Noel Flagg 
of Hartford 358 

42— GEORGE P. McLEAN from portrait at State Library painted by Charles 

Noel Flagg of Hartford 364 

43— ABIRAM CHAMBERLAIN from late photograph by Randall— There has 
since been placed a portrait at State Library by Harry I. Thompson of 
New Haven 372 

44— HENRY ROBERTS from late photograph by Randall— A portrait is now 

being painted for the collection at the_ State Library 380 

SIR EDMUND ANDROS from portrait at State Library painted by Charles 
Noel Flagg of Hartford from a colored photograph of a miniature in posses- 
sion of his collateral descendants in London and an engraving prefixed to 
the Andros Tracts of the Prince Society is now in the collection at the 
state capitol, but could not be conveniently reproduced at the time of this 
book publication 

It is believed that there are no portraits nor likenesses of any kind extant of the 
following Governors, as thus far the State has been unable to secure portraits of any of 
them: JOHN HAYNES (1594-1653-4), EDWARD HOPKINS (1600-1657), GEORGE 
WYLLYS (about 1570-1645), THOMAS WELLES (1598-1660), JOHN WEBSTER 

( -1661), WILLIAM LEETE (about 1612-1683), ROBERT TREAT (1622- 

1710), JOSEPH TALCOTT (1669-1741), JONATHAN LAW (1674-1750), ROGER 
WOLCOTT (1679-1767), THOMAS FITCH (1700-1774), WILLIAM PITKIN (1694- 
1769), MATTHEW GRISWOLD (1714-1799), ROGER GRISWOLD (1762-1812). 



THE GOVERNORS OF CONNECTICUT 



1639 



1906 



The 
FIRST GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTl CUT 

was 
JOHN H AYNES 

A wealthy English Emigrant 
who came to the New World 
in the ship "Griffin" with 
Thomas Hooker, the father 
of American Democracy, 
and spent much of his 
family fortune in estab- 
lishing the government 



JOHN 



H A Y N 



THE first governor of Connecticut was John Haynes, who had 
previously held the same office in the neighboring colony of 
Massachusetts. He was the oldest son of John Haynes of 
Coddicot, County of Hertford, England, and was born in 1594. 
The Haynes family was old and wealthy, and besides other valua- 
ble property they owned Copford Hall, a fine country-seat which 
furnished a large income. The father of Governor Haynes, in 
his will dated October 20, 1605, describes lands owned by him 
in the counties of Hertford and Essex. 

Governor John Haynes became an admirer of Thomas 
Hooker and emigrated with him to America. They sailed from 
England in the Griffin in 1633, and in the party, besides Haynes 
and Hooker, were John Cotton, the eminent divine, and Samuel 
Stone, who was destined to take so important a part in the early 
history of Hartford. They landed in Massachusetts, September 3, 
1633. Haynes was made a freeman May 14, 1634. He was 
chosen an assistant, and finally governor, in 163^. The next 
year he was made an assistant again; but in May 1637, he, with 
others, removed to Hartford where he was to be one of the 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

foremost men in the infant colony. Hartford, at that time, had a 
population of eight hundred persons, of which two hundred and 
fifty were adult men. 

Haynes was an original proprietor and owned a lot on the 
main street, ''opposite the meeting-house yard," but previous to 
February, 1639, he purchased from Richard Webb the lot on the 
comer of Front and Arch Streets. In November, 1637, Haynes 
presided over the session of the General Court and continued in 
that position two years. 

The first election of officers of the Connecticut colony, under 
the Constitution, was held April 1 1, 1639. John Haynes was 
elected governor and Roger Ludlow deputy governor. He was so 
satisfactory as chief magistrate of the colony that he was elected to 
that high office every alternate year until his death. Haynes was 
deputy governor in 1640, '44, '46, '50 and '52, interchanging with 
Edward Hopkins. Originally no one was to be chosen governor 
two years in succession; but in 1660 this restriction was abolished 
by the freemen. Governor Haynes' career in Hartford was emi- 
nently distinguished. He was one of the five who prepared the 
first Constitution of Connecticut, which embodies the main part of 
all subsequent state constitutions, and of the Federal Constitution. 

In 1646 Governor Haynes made a voyage to England. He 
died at Hartford, on March 1, 1653-4.* His will, dated 1646, 
brought to light the fact that his residence in Connecticut caused a 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

serious shrinkage in his property, the estate inventorying only 1540 
pounds. General Hezekiah Haynes, his son, wrote in 1675 of his 
father. " It is sufficiently knowne how chargeable the government 
was to the magistrates in that first planting wherein my father bore a 
considerable part to the almost ruin of his family .... for he has 
transmitted into these parts between 7000 and 8000 pounds." 
Governor Haynes is described as "of large estate and larger affec- 
tions, and dear to the people by his benevolent virtues and disinter- 
ested conduct." He was probably the best representative of the 
republicanism of the period which Coleridge termed "the religious 
and moral aristocracy." His second wife was Mabel Harlakenden 
of prominent family and royal descent. 



*NoTE: Genealogists in recording the death of Governor Haynes use both 
1653 and 1654.; therefore in such cases both dates are used throughout these biog- 
raphies. The apparent conflict of dates arises many times from a misuse of the 
years as computed old style and the reformed system. The old style was in use 
previous to 1752. In instances where the two methods are combined in this book 
the old style will be given first, followed by the new — Aitt/ior 



SECOND GOVERNOR 

of 
CO NN E CT I CUT 

ZVCIS 

EDWARD HOPKINS 

A rich British Merchant and 
trader who emigrated to America 
in the ship "Hector," and upon 
returning to England be- 
came "Keeper of the Fleet 
Prison," famous in reigns of 
Mary and Elizabeth 



EDWARD 



HOPKINS 



EDWARD Hopkins, the second governor of the colony, was, 
Hke his predecessor, John Haynes, a wealthy English land- 
holder. He was born at Shrewsbury in 1600, and early 
in life became a merchant. While his headquarters were in 
London he carried on an extensive business with many foreign 
countries. 

While yet a young man Hopkins had made a comfortable 
fortune, and when in 1637 he concluded to emigrate to America he 
was classed as a rich man. For a long period he had worshipped 
at St. Stephen's parish, in Coleman street, London, where the Rev. 
John Davenport was the preacher and Theophilus Eaton a member. 
These three friends, Hopkins, Davenport, and Eaton, sailed for 
America in the ship Hector in 1637. Hopkins landed in Boston 
and proceeded to Hartford which he made his future home. Eaton 
and Davenport remained in Boston a few months and then went to 
Quinnipiac where they laid the foundation of the present New 
Haven in 1638. Soon after arriving in Hartford, Hopkins became 
a prominent citizen, and in 1639 was chosen the first secre- 
tary of the colony. The next year he was elected governor, 



'the Governors of Connecticut 

and continued in office every other year from 1640 to 1654. In 
the alternate years he was usually deputy governor and very often a 
delegate from the colony. His mercantile habits followed 
Governor Hopkins to his new home, for we are told he carried 
on a trading business in Hartford and established trading-posts far 
up the Connecticut river. Although a man of extensive business 
affairs and very active all his life, the governor never enjoyed 
good health and constantly suffered from disease. His wife also 
suffered from mental derangement, which was a source of constant 
anxiety to the governor. 

In 1654 Governor Hopkins sailed for England on a business 
trip and with the full intention of returning to his adopted coun- 
try; but circumstances prevented him from following out his plan. 
Soon after his arrival in England he inherited from his brother the 
position of " Keeper of the Fleet Prison," on Farringdon street, 
London, and his title was Warden of the Fleet. This was the 
King's prison as far back as the twelfth century, and obtained a 
high historical interest from its having been the place of confine- 
ment of religious martyrs during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth. 

Hopkins afterward became a commissioner of the admiralty 
and navy and a member of Parliament. Governor Hopkins died in 
London in either March or April, 1657. ^^ ^^^ characterized 
afterward by a writer as being "eminent for piety, kindly nature 
and patient endurance of suffering and affliction." 

8 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

About a year previous to his death Governor Hopkins 
received a letter from his friend Davenport, of New Haven, sug- 
gesting the pressing need of a collegiate school in that town. He 
was requested to aid the enterprise ; and in replying the governor 
wrote, April 30, 1656: "It 1 understand that a college is begun 
and like to be carried on at New Haven for the good of posterity, 
I shall give some encouragement thereunto." When he died one 
year later and the contents of his will became known, it was found 
that " New England was his chief heir," as Dr. Bacon aptly 
remarked in recent years. 

This will, dated March 7, 1657, set aside one thousand 
pounds of his estate for grammar schools in Hartford, New Haven, 
and Hadley, divided as follows: Hartford 400 pounds. New 
Haven 312 pounds, Hadley 308 pounds, and Harvard College 
100 pounds. He also lett five hundred pounds to be given "for 
upholding and promoting the Kingdom of the Lord in those parts 
of the earth." This sum was, somewhat peculiarly, given to Har- 
vard by a decree of chancery in 1710, and the trustees invested it 
in a township purchased from the "praying Indians," and called 
the place Hopkinton, in honor of the donor. The school founded 
by the bequest in Hadley opened in 1667, and afterward became 
the Hopkins Academy. In 1889 the property was valued at 
$57,325. The 400 pounds for Hartford were invested in local 
real estate, and a school erected in 1665. In 1778 it was named 



'^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

the Hartford Grammar School. For the last fifty years this school 
and the Hartford High School have been practically the same 
thing. The Hopkins Grammar School at New Haven has always 
been in a flourishing condition. It was founded in 1660 and the 
building is on the corner of High and Wall streets. It has long 
been a prominent preparatory school for Yale University. 

Governor Hopkins was thus one of our earliest American 
philanthropists and his gifts to education set a precedent that has 
since become one of the greatest factors in American progress. 



"The 
THIRD GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

'IV as 

GEORGE WYLLYS 

A distinguished Englishman of 
rank and means who received a 
university education and left the 
life of a country gentleman to 
assist in founding a government 
of civil and religious liberty 



GEORGE 



W Y L L Y S 



GEORGE Wyllys was an Englishman of means and rank 
who became an ardent advocate of the Puritan movement 
and decided to live among the men and women who held 
opinions similar to his own. 

He was born about 1570 in the town of Fenny Compton, 
County of Warwick, England. His father was a man of wealth 
and position, who gave his son as good an education as could be 
obtained at an English university of that period. Settling on a fine 
estate in Warwickshire, he lived the life of a country gentleman, 
and had plenty of time to watch the course of events in England. 

Becoming interested in the cause of the Puritans, Wyllys, 
rather late in life, found his native land uncongenial to him and 
planned to settle in this country. In 1636 he sent his steward, 
William Gibbons, to America, accompanied by twenty men, to 
purchase for him in Hartford, "an estate suitable to his 
rank." Gibbons was also instructed to have a dwelling-house 
erected on the estate, and to put everything in readiness for the 
advent of the Wyllys family. Considerable time was spent in pre- 
paration for the reception, for Wyllys did not arrive until 1638 — 
two years after his steward. 

13 




'The Governors 'of Connecticut 

His estate embraced the square now between Main, Charter 
Oak, Governor, and Wyllys streets in Hartford, and was apparently 
a pretentious establishment for the sparsely settled colony. 

Wyllys was one of the original planters of Hartford. On his 
farm stood the famous Charter Oak, in which the Connecticut 
charter was secreted. There was a legend current for many 
years that Governor Wyllys' steward, Gibbons, gave orders to have 
the ancient oak cut down, but that a party of Indians dissuaded 
him from his plan to remove it from the estate. 

After settling in Hartford, Wyllys took a leading part in the 
transacting of public business, and was one ot the tramers of the 
Constitution of 1639. On April 11, 1639, he was chosen as one 
of the six magistrates of Connecticut, and held the office until 
his death. 

In 1641 he was elected deputy governor, and the next year 
governor of the colony. He was also commissioner of the United 
Colonies. Holding the office of governor one year, Wyllys did 
not appear prominently after his retirement from office, and he died 
in Hartford, March 9, 1644-45. 

He left four children, one of whom, Samuel Wyllys, was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1653 and was magistrate in 
Connecticut for thirty years. 

A grandson of Governor Wyllys was secretary of the colony 
from 1712 to 1735; his son and successor, from 1735 to 1796; and 

14 



T h t' (j V c r 11 r s of C o ii n c c t / r ii t 

his son and successor from 1796 to 1810; so that the office 
remained in the Wyllys family for the unusually long period of 
ninety-eight years. This record was never outdone in Connecticut. 
The next best record was the Whiting family, members of which 
held the office of treasurer for seventy years. 

Governor Wyllys was not a great man, like some of his con- 
temporaries, but, as a biographer has said, "• He was famed for his 
social and domestic virtues, his simplicity of manners and his love^ 
for civil and religious liberty." 



Tie 
FOURTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 

THOMAS WELLES 

An Englishman believed to have 
been connected with nobility but 
whose antecedents across the 
water still remain a mystery and 
even his burial place is unknown 
but is said by genealogists to be 
either in Wethersfield or Hartford 



Governor Thomas 'dies 
4th '^3lonial '-overnor of ^onneotioat 
By Lemael ikea '.CI lea 

proved by 

Colonel Oharlea E. Banks 

Robert vgiles (old spelling v/^llys) 
Taxed in v.hiohford x&rish, Jounty 
fiarwlok .n-Tlaal, 15S3 

-Jon. 

Thomas .>eile3 m (1) .lisaboth 

of Jtowerton {5ur. there) .ng. 1552 
)anty arwiok m (2) ^Jlisjaboth Bryan, Car. 1558 

;>on 
vDbert "^iies^r.p. 1540 m ilioe - 
d about 1615 

-honffiis ¥i?€lles a (1) Alice agonies 1615 
J. in jif^land in .n^jland, daa 

d 1659-60 in /onneoticat John Tomes 
n,s. r-lected r-overnor 1655 m (Z) Mrs 
ix Children C. in ring, l.lir*abeth {.3emin^) 

) John €11 Q3 Foote in ^onn. 

) rhoRjas '' 
amael ^ 



!''ary " 

Ana " 

Sarah ' 



9 xevot) 



• nxicC at Ow. 



riJ^ 



'>j 









1 ••■."!: J 



THOMAS 



WELLES 



THOMAS Welles, the fourth governor of Connecticut colony, 
was born in England in 1598, but where he came from has 
not yet been determined. Absolutely nothing is known ot 
his antecedents across the water. 

One of Governor Welles' descendants, Hon. Gideon Welles of 
Hartford, wrote of his ancestor, the governor, in 1843 • " ^Y Either, 
who died in 1834, aged eighty years, used to tell me that our 
English ancestors were once of the nobility; that amongst his earli- 
est recollections were the strong injunctions of his grandfather and 
his great uncle, Samuel Welles of Boston, never to omit the letter 
"e" in his name ; that the family had once great estates of which 
they were wrongfully deprived and that in due time they would 
return. These were the remarks of the old men to him, born 
about thirty years after the death of Governor Welles, and who in 
childhood imbibed impressions brought from the parent land." 

A tradition, long believed to be true, connected Welles with 
the service of Lord Say-and-Sele, and made him one of the first 
settlers of Saybrook in 1636. This has been quite thoroughly 
disproven in the light of more recent investigation, and all state- 

19 






^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

ments ot this sort concerning the governor's early career in America 
are purely conjectural. 

There is absolutely nothing to show that Governor Welles 
was ever secretary to Lord Say-and-Sele, but on the other hand it 
is more than probable that Governor Welles came to Hartford in 
1636 from Boston. A copy of a grant in which he figures tends to 
confirm this statement. The first appearance of Governor Welles 
in Hartford was on March 28, 1637, according to the Colonial 
Records. He was one of the magistrates in 1637 and he held the 
office for many years. He rose rapidly in the councils ot state, for 
at the election in 1639 he was chosen the first treasurer of the infant 
colony, holding the office until 1641 when he asked to be 
relieved. He was next secretary of the commissioners of the United 
Colonies. In 1649 he became one of the commissioners and 
served for some years. 

He was chosen governor in 1655 and 1656; the next year he 
was deputy governor and in 1658 was re-elected governor of the 
colony. The following year he was deputy governor again, and 
that ended his eminently successful and honorable public career. 
Governor Welles went to Wethersfield to live in 1643 and he died 
in that town on January 14, 1660, (1657, o. s.). 

Concerning the exact spot where the governor's remains lie 
buried, there has been considerable controversy among the 
historians. 



T' h e G V e r n o r s o f C o n n e c t i c ii t 

Albert Welles, a biographer of the governor, says that his 
remains were buried "on the top of the hill near the fence on the 
south side of the old yard, in the rear of the meeting-house, where 
the remains of the Welles family for many generations now lie 
grouped." 

Benjamin Trumbull, the eminent historian, wrote regarding 
this: "Though Governor Welles was first buried at Wethersfield 
his remains were afterward removed to Hartford. Four of the first 
governors of Connecticut, Haynes, Wyllys, Welles and Webster, lie 
buried at Hartford without a monument. Considering their many 
and important public services this is remarkable. But their virtues 
have embalmed their names and will render their names venerable 
to the latest posterity." 

One of the very best authorities on this question contends that 
the governor was buried at Wethersfield and was never removed 
from that town. This seems to be the general belief. 

A writer says of the governor : " Governor Welles possessed the 
full confidence of the people, and many ot the most important of 
the early laws and papers pertaining to the founding of the colony 
were drafted by him. The successful issue of Connecticut 
from her difficulty concerning the fort erected at Saybrook on one 
side and the Dutch encroachments on the other was largely due 
to his skill and wisdom." 



FIFTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 

JOHN WEBSTER 

His early life is shrouded in 
mystery but family tradition 
locates his boyhood in Warwick, 
England, and he emigrated to 
America with the first settlers, 
becoming prominent in the 
early controversies in the colony 



JOHN 



WEBSTER 



V> I ^HE early lite of John Webster is shrouded in mystery. 

I Family tradition said that he was from the County of 

Warwick, England, but even this is indefinite. The date ot 

his birth is unknown and there is nothing handed down to us 

regarding his ancestry. 

His name first appears in history when he became one of the 
original proprietors of Hartford. 

Webster must have been one of the first settlers, for it is 
recorded in 1639 that he owned a lot on the east side of the 
thoroughfare now called Governor street. His prominence in the 
town is demonstrated by the fact that in 1637-8 he sat with the 
Court of Magistrates, and was a magistrate himself from the year 
1639 to 1655. In the latter year Webster was chosen to the 
office of deputy governor of the colony, and in 1656 was advanced 
to governor. He held the office one year. During the year 1642 
Governor Webster was a member of the commission that framed 
the code of criminal laws for the colony. In 1654 he was one of 
the commissioners of tlie United Colonies. Governor Webster took 
a prominent part in the famous church controversy at Hartford. 
Professor Johnston, in his scholarly book, " Connecticut," says the 

25 



The Go V t' /• // r s o f C o n n c c t i r it t 

nominal beginning of this trouble was atter the death of Rev. 
Thomas Hooker in 1647. ''Goodwin, the ruling elder," writes 
Johnston, "wanted Michael Wigglesworth as Hooker's successor; 
and Stone the surviving minister, refused to allow the proposition 
to be put to a vote. The Goodwin party — twenty-one in number, 
including Deputy Governor Webster — withdrew from the church ; 
the Stone party undertook to discipline them; a council of 
Connecticut and New Haven churches failed to reconcile the 
parties; the General Court kindly assumed the office of mediator 
and succeeded in making both parties furious ; and finally a coun- 
cil at Boston in 1659 induced the Goodwin minority, now some 
sixty in number, to remove to Hadley, Massachusetts." 

The year following his removal to Hadley, Governor Webster 
was admitted as a freeman in that colony. His career in .Hadley 
was destined to be brief, however, tor he died on April 5, 1661 — 
nearly two years after his arrival. He was survived by his widow 
and seven children. 

The historian, Hollister, speaks of Webster as an "honored 
name," and "whose virtues are still perpetuated in those who 
inherit his blood." Probably the most distinguished descendant of 
Governor Webster was Noah Webster, the famous lexicographer, 
who was born in Hartford in 1758 and died at New Haven, May 
28, 1843. 



26 



the 
SIXTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

zcas 

JOHN WINTHROP 

An English scholar who was 
educated at Trinity College, 
Dublin, and studied law in 
the Inner Temple, later enter- 
ing the English naval service 
and finally coming to the 
New World where he became 
the first brilliant diplomat 




^^if^K -^^mi^^ 



JOHN 



W 1 N T H R O 



THE brilliant career of John Winthrop, as governor of 
Connecticut, led the historian, ^^ncroft, to write that "the 
New World was full of his praises." He is generally con- 
ceded to have been the most distinguished and scholarly of the 
early governors of the colony. His father, John Winthrop, 
commonly called the older, was governor of Massachusetts, and the 
founder of the famous Winthrop family in America — a family that 
has produced many able men and women. 

John Winthrop, the younger, was born in Groton Manor, 
England, February 12, 1606. He received a careful education at 
Trinity College, Dublin, and afterward entered the Inner Temple, 
where he studied law. Finding this distasteful, he entered the 
English naval service, sailing with George Villiers, the Duke of 
Buckingham. He took part in the unsuccessful expedition for the 
relief of the Protestants at La Rochelle. After a tour on the 
Continent, Winthrop returned to England in 1629 and found that 
his father and closest friends were preparing to sail for Massachu- 
setts. 

- In 1631 he followed his father to New England and was soon 
elected an assistant in Massachusetts colony. He was one of the 

29 



1' b e Governors of Connecticut 



settlers of the town of Ipswich, where he owned a large estate. 
Winthrop returned to England in 1634. On July 7, 1635, articles 
of agreement were drawn up between Winthrop and Lord Say-and- 
Sele, with several others, empowering Winthrop to erect a fort at 
the mouth of the Connecticut river and creating him governor of 
the territory for one year. His commission was sealed and de- 
livered on July 15, 1635, and he arrived at the mouth of the river 
about November 24th of the same year. After his term of office 
expired Winthrop went to Massachusetts where he busied himself 
with scientific investigation. He is spoken of as one of the best 
" chymists" of his age. 

In 1640 he procured a grant of Fisher's Island, and on Au- 
gust 3, 1641, left for England where he spent the next two years. 
Returning to Massachusetts in 1643, he undertook to develop the 
iron industry in the vicinity of Braintree. 

Soon after he acquired considerable property where New Lon- 
don now stands, and removed to that place, which he made his 
future home. Miss Caulkins, the historian of New London, calls 
him the founder of the town, and adds that Winthrop's home on 
Fisher's Island was the first English residence in that territory. 
He brought thither the first company of settlers, planned the town, 
founded tlie government, fixed the bounds, and conciliated the 
Indians. In 1650 he transferred his residence to New London, 
and from then on took a leading part in the government of the 

30 



'T h € (j v e r n r s of C o n n e c t i c u t 

town and colony. Rising rapidly from a magistrate in 1650, 
Winthrop was elected governor of the colony in 1657. He was 
re-elected to the same office in 1659. Originally no man was to 
be chosen to the office ot governor two years in succession ; but in 

1660 the General Court, in their anxiety to retain Winthrop as 
governor, requested the freemen of the colony to abolish the 
the restriction of re-election. This was done immediately and then 
John Winthrop began his career as governor, which covered a 
longer period than was ever reached by any chief executive in 
Connecticut. Gurdon Saltonstall and Joseph Talcott in the next 
century, however, were each governor for seventeen years. 
Governor Winthrop was in England for a year and a half, from 

1661 to 1663, when he was elected a member of the Royal Society. 
Possessing much tact and having a thorough knowledge of court 
procedure, as well as considerable influence with Charles the 
Second, Winthrop obtained from the king the famous charter 
which consolidated the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven. 
In this charter of 1662 Winthrop was named the first governor of 
the United Colonies, and in this office he passed the remaining por- 
tion of his life. Governor Winthrop died at Boston, April 5, 1676, 
while attending a meeting of the commissioners of the colonies. 

Winthrop endeared himself to the people of Connecticut, and 
historial writers all agree that his Puritanism was of the finest type; 
that he hyd the good will of even those who differed widely from 

3^ 



T' b e Governors of C o n n e c t 7 c v t 



him. In the kindred sciences of chemistry and medicine he was 
one of the best authorities of his time. Trumbull called him "one 
of the most distinguished characters in New England." Hollister 
wrote: " It is difficult to consider him as an individual character so 
inseparably is his bright image blended with that of the colony 
herself during the most doubtful, and at the same time, most glori- 
ous period of her existence." 

Bancroft paid him a glowing tribute when he wrote: " Puri- 
tans and Quakers and the freemen of Rhode Island were alike his 
eulogists. The Dutch at New York had confidence in his integ- 
rity, and it is the beautiful testimony of his father that ' God gave 
him favor in the eyes of all with whom he had to do.'" 

Such careers shine as a brilliant light in the hazy horizon of 
the past. 



32 



fJbe 
SEVENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 

WILLIAM LEETE 

A sturdy English lawyer who as 
a clerk in the Bishop's Court at 
Cambridge witnessed the oppression 
and cruelties imposed on unoffend- 
ing Puritans and became their 
counselor and guide in the New 
Land of Liberty and Justice 



WILLIAM 



L E E T E 



WILLIAM Leete is generally known in history as the 
sturdy governor who sheltered and defended the regicides 
when they were in Guilford. This was one of the unim- 
portant incidents of a particularly busy life, yet it has found a place 
in various local histories and in more pretentious biographical 
works. His ancestors were members of an ancient family. Gerard 
Letie, or Leete, owned lands in 1209, during the reign of King 
John, in Morden, Cambridgeshire. Matthew Lety, John Leet, 
Henry Leete, were all Englishmen of prominence and their names 
appear in the public records previous to the year 1550. 

William Leete was the son of John Leete, of Dodington, and 
Anna Shute, daughter of one of the justices of the King's Court. 
He was born in Dodington, Huntingdonshire, England, in 1612 
or 1613. Educated as a lawyer, Leete was for a time clerk of a 
Bishop's Court at Cambridge, where he witnessed the oppression 
and cruelties imposed on the unoffending Puritans. 

In 1643 Leete and Samuel Desborough met the Court at 
New Haven, when New Haven colony was planned and organ- 
ized. He was one of the deputies from Guilford to the General 
Court of New Haven colony until i65'o; and from 1651 to 1658 

35 



1" h e Governors of Connecticut 

was magistrate of the town. During the latter year he was elected 
deputy governor of the colony, and continued in the office until he 
was chosen governor in 1661. He held this position until the 
union of the colony with Connecticut in 1664. After the consoli- 
dation of the colonies Leete was an assistant until 1669 when he 
was chosen deputy governor of Connecticut colony. He was re- 
elected to this office annually until 1676, when he became governor 
of the colony. 

Shortly after his election as governor, Leete moved to Hart- 
ford from Guilford, and he resided in that town until his death 
in 1683. His remains were buried in the old cemetery at Hart- 
ford ; and Treasurer John Talcott made an entry in his account 
book that it cost the colony eleven pounds of powder for firing the 
" Great Gun at Gov'r leetes funerall." 

Governor Leete was a popular official; his administration 
abounded with good results through a particularly difficult period, 
and his great integrity won the approbation of friends and enemies. 
Dr. Trumbull wrote of him: "He died full of years and good 
works." Palfrey summed up his public life in these words : " Leete 
was an intelligent and virtuous ruler and Connecticut prospered 
under his care." 

The story of Governor Leete's experience with the regicides — 
Goffe and Whalley — when they fled to New England, upon the 
restoration of Charles L, is as follows: 

36 



The Governors of Connecticut 

Ezra Stiles in that curious little volume, " The Judges," states 
that GofFe and Whalley were in Guilford twice. The first time 
was when they were flying from Boston to New Haven. The 
second visit has been the foundation of a story, which, according to 
Dr. Bernard C, Steiner, the brilliant historian of Guilford, is much 
disputed as some of the details are clearly wrong. GofFe and 
Whalley probably went to Governor Leete's home and were secreted 
there several days and nights. Finally the judges returned to their 
place of concealment in New Haven. There is a tradition given 
credence in several histories that the governor's daughter, Anna, 
who afterward became the wife of John Trowbridge of New 
Haven, fed the regicides from the governor's table. Dr. Steiner, 
an eminent authority, says these men were hidden in Guilford, if at 
all, in June, 1661. President Stiles relates the story thus: 

"It is an anecdote still preserved in that family that she ( the 
governor's daughter Anna) used often to say that when she was a 
little girl these good men lay concealed some time in the cellar of 
her father's store, but she did not know it until afterward ; that she 
well remembered that at the time of it she and the rest of the child- 
ren were strictly prohibited from going near that store for some 
days, arid that she and the children wondered at it and could not 
perceive the reason of it at that time, though they knew afterward." 

" Tradition says that they were, however, constantly supplied 
with victuals from the governor's table, sent to them by the maid 

37 



T" b e Governors of Connecticut 

who long after was wont to glory in it — that she had fed those 
heavenly men." As the governor's daughter, Anna, referred to in 
this anecdote, was born on March lo, 1661, and the regicides were 
there in June of the same year, the error is obvious. 



38 



"The 
EIGHTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
ROBERT TREAT 

An English planter who at the age 
of eighteen years began his official 
services in the New World and dur- 
ing a critical period led the state 
to victory through legislative coun- 
cil and battle, dying honored and 
beloved at the age of eighty-nine 



ROBERT 



T R E A 



THE priceless services of Robert Treat rendered to the colony 
during a critical period, have always been appreciatively 
recorded by the historians of the state. Born in England in 
1622, Treat came to America with his father, Richard Treat, 
early in the century and settled in Wethersfield. The elder Treat 
owned a farm of nine hundred acres, which is now comprised in the 
town of Glastonbury ; was a patentee of the charter, a man of high 
character and great worth. Robert Treat lived in Wethersfield 
only a short time, as he removed to the town of Milfbrd in 1639. 
At the first meeting of the planters Treat, then a lad of eighteen, 
was appointed as one of a commission of nine to aid in surveying and 
laying out the lands of the town. He was elected a deputy in 1653, 
and served until 1659. He also held the office again in 1665. Treat 
served as an assistant from 1659 to 1664, and was strongly opposed 
to the union of New Haven and Connecticut colonies. When the 
consolidation was finally effected he was one of a party who remov- 
ed to New Jersey and founded the present city of Newark. The 
settlers elected him the first town clerk of the settlement and granted 
him a lot of eight acres. In 1673 Treat was appointed a major of 
Connecticut troops and he returned to this state two years later. 
Three years after his return Connecticut thought enough of Treat's 

41 



1' b e Governors of Connecticut 

military ability to choose him commander-in-chief of the forces then 
engaged in war against King Philip. By his gallantry and bravery 
he was chiefly instrumental in ridding Northfield and Springfield of 
the Indians who infested that locality. 

When the Indians made their assault upon Hadley, Treat 
drove them from the village ; and in the celebrated fight with the 
Narragansetts on December 19, 1675, near what is now South 
Kingston, Rhode Island, his courage rivaled Captain Mason, 
before him and General Putnam in the following century. 
With the Connecticut troops he led the forlorn hope against the 
block-house where Philip's sharp-shooters had more than once 
driven back the men of Massachusetts. He was one of the last to 
leave the fort when the Indian power was broken. His prowess 
was fully recognized and in 1676 the freemen chose Treat as 
deputy governor. 

In 1683 ^^ ^^^ elected governor of the colony, serving in that 
office for fifteen years. Then he declined to act longer and was 
chosen deputy governor. In 1683 Governor Treat was a member 
of the commission to settle the controversy between Connecticut 
and the governor of New York. New York claimed that three 
towns — Rye, Greenwich, and Stamford — belonged to that colony, 
but a compromise was agreed upon whereby New York retained 
the town of Rye, and Greenwich and Stamford were conceded to 
Connecticut. 

42 



The Go V e r n r s o f C o u ti e c t i c u t 

During the period of the Andros usurpation Governor Treat 
steered the destinies of Connecticut in what is generally conceded 
to be a masterly manner. 

When Sir Edmund Andros became governor of New York 
and chief magistrate of English America, Governor Treat feared 
that the colony would be divided and he decided upon a pacific 
course. The people of this colony acted loyally toward Andros 
when he went to Hartford, October i, 1687, and Treat was made a 
member o^i his council a month later. Connecticut suffered but 
little from Andros, which is undoubtedly due to Treat's great tact. 
The English Revolution came in due time and when the news of it 
reached Boston, in April, 1689, Andros was thrust into custody. 
Treat was quietly awaiting his chance, and on the 9th of May he 
resumed the office of governor. The assembly was ordered to meet 
in June, and William and Mary were proclaimed with enthusiasm. 
The old time government swung into motion again and the story 
of Andros entered into history. 

Governor Treat died at his home in Milford on July 12, 
lyio, having reached the great age of eighty-nine years. His son, 
Samuel Treat, was a distinguished clergyman in Massachusetts and 
grandfather of Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence. 

In summing up the life of Robert Treat, Hollister's opinion of 
him seems the best. He says : " Governor Treat was not only a 

43 



T' b e Governors of Connecticut 

man of high courage, but was one of the most cautious mihtary 
leaders, and possessed a quick sagacity united with a breadth of 
understanding that enabled him to see at a glance the most complex 
relations that surrounded the field of battle. He was a planter of 
that hospitable order that adorned New England in an age when 
hospitality was accounted a virtue, and when the term gentleman was 
something more than an empty title. His deep piety has still a 
traditionary fame in the neighborhood where he spent the brief por- 
tion of his time that he was allowed to devote to the culture of the 
domestic and social virtues. 

There existed between Robert Treat and John Winthrop the 
most cordial friendship, growing out of the admiration that each 
felt for the character and abilities of the other, and also on account 
of the part they took — the one procuring the charter, the other in 
vindicating its jurisdiction and in preserving it from the violence of 
its enemies." 



44 



'The 
ROYAL GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

was 

SIR EDMUND ANDROS 

An English aristocrat of the king's 
court who temporarily usurped the 
power of government and demanded 
the surrender of the colony's 
charter during a crisis in the early 
history of the commonwealth but 
was deposed after brief authority 



SIR EDMUND 



A N D R O S 



STUDENTS of Connecticut history have hesitated whether or 
no they should consider Sir Edmund Andros a rightful 

governor of this commonwealth, but it has been generally held 
that he was a usurper during the time the government was in his 
hands. Good authorities in our constitutional history dijffer as to the 
legality of his title, but as good historian as the late Charles Jeremy 
Hoadly remarked one day, in scornful allusion to some who 
objected to having Sir Edmund's portrait in the state library : " He 
was as really governor of Connecticut as any of the rest of them." 

In either case, it would appear that a sketch of this able royal 
governor should be included in the volume of the lives of Con- 
necticut's executives. 

Sir Edmund Andros was an English aristocrat, reared in the 
lap of English society, and his early life was passed among the lords 
and nobles that composed the court of the English king. He was 
born in London, December 6, 1637, where his father was an officer 
of the royal household. The boy decided upon a military career 
and at an early age became a soldier in Rupert's dragoons; two 
years later he succeeded the elder Andros as bailiff of Guernsey, 

47 



The Governors of Connecticut 

In 1674 he was appointed by James, Duke ot York, to the 
office of governor of the province of New York, and he remained 
in that capacity for seven years. Because of his Hberal claims of 
jurisdiction Andros became involved during this period in some 
warm disputes with the neighboring colonies. His trouble with 
Connecticut authorities commenced at Saybrook in July, 1675, the 
year after he received his appointment. During the month which 
saw the opening of King Philip's war at Plymouth, Sir Edmund 
sailed eastward through the Sound, and the voyage threw the Con- 
necticut authorities into consternation. Captain Thomas Bull, 
commanding at Saybrook, was notified by the officials at Hartford 
that the royalist governor was going through the Sound with the 
avowed intention of aiding the colony against the ravages of the 
Indians. He was instructed, in case the representative of the Duke 
of York should call at his station, to assure his excellency that Con- 
necticut had made its own necessary precautions against the Indians, 
and was allowed to infer that the colony had more to fear from an 
invasion by the governor of New York than from an onslaught of 
Indians. Captain Bull was also ordered not to permit the landing of 
troops from New York, who accompanied Andros. Royal governors 
were never popular in Connecticut, and the people did not take 
kindly to what they thought was to be an invasion of their territory. 

The orders sent to Bull were terse but suggestive : " And you 
are to keep the King's colors standing there, under His Majesty's 

48 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

lieutenant, the Governor of Connecticut; and if any other colors 
be set up there, you are not to suffer them to stand .... But you 
are in His Majesty's name required to avoid striking the first blow; 
but if they begin, then you are to defend yourselves, and do your 
best to secure His Majesty's interest and the peace of the whole 
colony of Connecticut, in our possession." 

But there were no blows struck, and Sir Edmund contented 
himself with simply landing and reading the duke's patent, which 
proceeding was duly protested against by Captain Bull and other 
accredited officials. This ended the matter for the time being, but 
during the years that followed he was closely watched by the Con- 
necticut authorities. 

In 1680 Andros seized the government of New Jersey and 
dethroned Philip Carteret, but the year following he was recalled by 
the king and accused of maladministration. After successfully 
clearing himself of such charges as the home government was able 
to bring against him, Andros retired to Guernsey. When James, 
the Second, became king, Sir Edmund was appointed in 1686 
governor of all New England, which comprised the American 
settlements between Maryland on the south and Canada on the 
north, with the exception of Pennsylvania. This was an almost 
unlimited field for operations, and he proceeded to exercise his 
authority. The first step, so far as Connecticut was concerned, was 
when Governor Treat received in July 1686, two writs of quo 

49 



l' b e Governors of Connecticut 

warranto against the colony of Connecticut, which had been issued 
the previous year. These called upon the officers of the colony to 
show proper authority for the exercise of their political powers or 
else abandon them altogether. 

Andros landed at Boston on December 21, 1686, armed with 
his far reaching commission, and the people ot Connecticut looked 
on with alarm; for they soon learned that the new royal governor 
meant completely to abrogate, if possible, their charter of 1662. 
After putting into operation at Boston some obnoxious laws that 
turned the people of that colony against him, he proceeded to rule 
with a high hand. 

As one writer has said: "Although proclaiming religious 
freedom, he restrained the liberty of the press, arbitrarily levied 
enormous taxes, and compelled landowners to procure new titles 
to their property, for which exorbitant charges were made. These 
and similar actions performed in accordance with instructions 
received in England, gave great offense," 

And well they might. Next, Andros turned his attention to 
Connecticut, on which he had looked with anxious eyes since the 
day eleven years before when he attempted to read his patent to 
Captain Bull. Late in December he wrote to Governor Treat that 
as he supposed the trial of the quo warranto writs had gone against 
the colony, he hoped the officials of Connecticut would make them- 
selves popular with King James by immediately surrendering their 

50 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

charter, and thus save any unpleasant experiences in the future. 
The advice of Andros was not accepted, but matters drifted along, 
although the records of the colony show that the leaders spent 
many anxious days considering the situation. 

But when the General Assembly met in the fall of 1687, Sir 
Edmund Andros was present accompanied by an armed force of 
sixty members of the king's troops. He had expected to enforce 
the surrender of the charter at that time, it is said, and the members 
of the assembly were in a state of extreme perturbation. The story 
of the drama enacted at Hartford is familiar to all. The assembly 
was holding its session in the meeting-house; Sir Edmund had made 
his formal demand for the charter ; the members had exhausted their 
well-known powers of parleying for its continuance in their hands , 
and the royal governor was well nigh desperate. For years he had 
hoped to get possession of that instrument and now that he was 
clothed with the royal power to ask for its surrender he did not 
propose to concede to the requests of Connecticut men. 

Professor Johnston tells the story : " Toward evening the case 
had become desperate. The little democracy was at last driven 
into a corner, where its old policy seemed no longer available ; it 
must resist openly, or make a formal surrender of its charter. Just 
as the lights were lighted, the legal authorities yielded so far as to 
order the precious document to be brought in and laid on the table 
before the eyes of Andros. Then came a little more debate. 

51 



T he Governors o f Connects c u t 

Suddenly the lights were blown out, Captain Wadsworth of Hart- 
ford carried off the charter, and hid it in a hollow oak tree on the 
estate of the Wyllyses, just across the "riverett;" and when the 
lights were relighted, the colony was no longer able to comply with 
Andros' demand for a surrender." 

Some historians have attempted to disprove this story and 
Professor Johnston says that it is traditional, but he adds that it is 
"difficult to see any good grounds for impeaching it on that 
account." 

The Connecticut officials had done all they could do to pre- 
serve the Connecticut government under their charter, but they had 
to bow to an overpowering force, with the king back of it all. 
Governor Treat listened to the reading of the royal commission 
held by Andros and the royal governor ruled over Connecticut from 
October 31, 1687, until April, 1689. While Connecticut did not 
suffer greatly from Andros and his claims of royal authority, his 
administration certainly provoked the ill favor of the people. 

On April 18, 1689, Andros was finally deposed and with fifty | 
of his followers was arrested at Boston and thrown into prison. 
William and Mary were proclaimed, and Governor Treat and the 
other state officials resumed their places. 

In 1690 Andros was sent to England to answer to charges 
preferred against him by a committee of colonists; but the home 
authorities did not press them, and the man who had harassed New 

52 



T" b e G V e r fi r s of Connecticut 

England, escaped without a trial. He returned to America as 
governor of Virginia in 1692, remaining there until 1698. His 
best work as a colonial governor was accomplished in that colony. 
His efforts for the promotion of agriculture and the development 
of trade and the part he took in establishing the college of William 
and Mary, the second oldest college in the United States, won for 
him high praise from the people whom he ruled. 

He, however, became involved in a quarrel with the com- 
missary of the Bishop of London, Dr. Blair, and this led to his 
recall. Sir Edmund closed his stormy public career by being 
governor of the Island of Jersey from 1704 to 1706. The last 
eight years of his life were spent in London, where he died on 
February 24, 1714. 



53 



'The 

NINTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 

FITZ-JOHN WINTHROP 

A New Englander by birth and the 
first American-born to be chosen a 
political leader by the colonists in 
recognition of his bravery as a soldier, 
his unimpeachable integrity, and his 
lofty patriotism and fidelity to principle 



F I T Z - J O H N 



W I N T H R O P 



JOHN Winthrop, commonly known in history as Fitz-John, 
and son of Governor John Winthrop, was born at Ipswich. 

Massachusetts; record of baptisms, Boston, 1638, Fitz-John, 
son of John and EHzabeth Winthrop, born March 14, 1637-8. He 
entered Harvard College, but did not take a degree as he left to 
accept a commission in the parliamentary army. 

Winthrop saw much service in Scotland, where he commanded 
at Cardross, and afterward accompanied General George Monk on 
his famous march to London. When his regiment was disbanded 
on account of the Restoration, Winthrop returned to New England 
in 1 663, settled in Connecticut and there passed the remaining por- 
tion of his career. During that trying period, when the discourag- 
ing Indian wars were in progress, Winthrop rendered considerable 
service to the colony in the field. When Connecticut joined with 
the other New England colonies in sending an army up the 
Hudson river to co-operate with Governor Philip's sea expedition, 
Fitz-John Winthrop was named as commander of the whole force, 
with Milborn as commissary. The army suffered greatly from the 
latter's inability to perform his duty, and both the matters of 
furnishing food and providing transportation for the forces were 

57 



1" h e Governors of Connecticut 

hopelessly muddled. In the face of these gross irregularities, and 
also on account of the weak support of New York, Winthrop had 
no alternative but to retreat and the expedition proved an utter 
failure. 

Jacob Leisler, the self-appointed governor of New York, 
branded Winthrop as an incompetent, and heaped considerable 
abuse upon him for the failure of the expedition, although histor- 
ians generally agree that the blame rested largely upon Milborn, a 
son-in-law of the governor. 

When he returned to Connecticut, Winthrop received the 
thanks of the General Court for his services. In 1693 he was made 
an agent of the colony and sent to England to obtain if possible a 
confirmation of the charter, as there was a belief that it had been 
superseded. Winthrop remained in England for four years an 
agent of Connecticut colony to the court of William III., and 
succeeded in obtaining from Lord John Somers, attorney general, a 
strong opinion that the charter of 1662 was valid. The opinion 
of the attorney general was concurred in by such able lawyers as 
Treby and Ward, and Lord Somers declared : " I am of the same 
opinion, and as this matter is stated, there is no ground of doubt." 
King William ratified this opinion in April, 1694, and when 
Winthrop returned to Connecticut he received the thanks of the 
people for having rendered such valuable service to the charter 
obtained by his father a generation before. In 1698 Winthrop was 

58 



T" h e Governors of C o n 71 e c t i c it t 

chosen governor of the colony and continued in the office until his 
death in 1707. 

In the fall of 1707 Governor Winthrop journeyed to Boston 
in an enfeebled condition to obtain medical assistance and visit his 
brother, Wait Still Winthrop. The Boston News Letter of Novem- 
ber 27, 1707, announced his death in this manner: "About four 
o'clock this morning, the Honorable John Winthrop, Esq.. Gov- 
ernor of His Majesty's Colony of Connecticut, departed this life in 
the sixty-ninth year of his age ; being born at Ipswich, in New 
England, March 14, Anno, 1638; whose body is to be interred 
here on Thursday next, the 4th of December." His body was 
interred in the same tomb with his father and grandfather in the 
burying-ground at King's Chapel. 

Governor Winthrop lived in New London, and his home was 
long famous for its unbounded hospitality. Miss Caulkins says of 
him : "His death was an important event to the town. As a mem- 
ber of the commonwealth it had lost its head, and as a community 
it was bereaved of a true friend and influential citizen," 

While Fitz-John Winthrop lacked the qualities of a states- 
man like his grandfather, or a scholar like his father, yet he is 
known in history as a brave soldier and an administrator of public 
affairs who won the absolute trust of his constituents. His integ- 
rity and lofty patriotism were unimpeachable. 



59 



TENTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

ivas 

GURDON SALTONSTALL 

colony and hri '° ^he 

to t'he .te °^ spirituality 

"« temporal office'' 



G U R D O N 



SALTONSTALL 



THE name of Saltonstall carries with it a long line of men 
distinguished in theology, at the bar, in the army and navy, 
and as statesmen. Richard Saltonstall, the first of note to 
bear the name, was a nephew of a lord mayor of London, and a 
patentee of Connecticut. He returned to England and was one of 
the judges that sentenced Lords Holland, Norwich, and Capel, the 
Duke of Hamilton, and Sir John Owen to death for treason. His 
great-grandson, Gurdon Saltonstall, was born in Haverhill, Mass- 
achusetts, March 27, 1666. He was graduated from Harvard 
College in 1684, studied theology and was ordained the 19th of 
November, 1691, as the minister at New London. 

His career as a preacher was not only eminently satisfactory, 
but he was regarded as a scholar of finished qualities. It is said that 
his thorough knowledge of men and affairs, his polished majestic 
bearing and his strong loyalty to the colonies made him one of the 
most valuable men in Connecticut. He was one of the originators 
of the plan to establish a college in Connecticut, and it is recorded 
by writers on the subject that he did much to have the institution 
situated in New Haven instead of Hartford. He is credited with 
having made the plans and estimates for the buildings. 

63 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut. 

Among the clergymen of the colony he enjoyed great popu- 
larity. 

In 1698 Saltonstall was a member of a committee appointed 
to welcome the Earl of Bellomont when he visited this country. 

Governor Fitz-John Winthrop and Saltonstall were close 
friends; in fact, during a long illness through which the governor 
passed, the minister acted as his chief adviser. Through this agency 
Saltonstall became intimately acquainted with the routine business 
of the colony, so that he was as familiar with the questions of state 
as the governor himself When, therefore. Governor Winthrop died 
in 1707 a special session of the General Assembly, called a month 
later, elected the Reverend Saltonstall as his successor. He began 
the duties of the office January 1, 1708, and in the May following 
was regularly elected by the people. Then began his long career 
as governor, which was terminated only by his death. 

His sudden transition from the preacher's desk to the governor's 
chair was too sudden for the parishioners at New London. They 
were filled with grief and amazement, we are told, and Trumbull 
adds that the Assembly sent a letter to his people explaining that 
"their minister was called to engage in another important course of 
service and using arguments to induce them to acquiesce in the 
result." He was criticised and even censured for having given up 
the work of the ministry for a " temporal office," and the Rev, 
Isaac Backus, a Baptist preacher and author of repute, wrote : " He 

64 



I' h e Governors of Connecticut 

readily quitted the solemn charge of souls for worldly promotion." 
The governor always retained his interest in the church at New 
London. 

One of his first acts as governor was to suggest the appoint- 
ment of a synod of ministers and laymen for a more thorough 
system of ecclesiastical discipline. The outcome of this was the 
assemblage of Congregational clergymen at Saybrook, which 
framed the famous "Saybrook. Platform." 

In 1709 he was an agent of the colony to convey an address 
to Queen Anne, urging the conquest of Canada. 

In 1711, when Connecticut placed four hundred men in the 
field against Quebec, Governor Saltonstall personally conducted 
them as far north as Albany. The disaster which befell stupid Sir 
Hovenden Walker, commander of the expedition, in Canadian 
waters, is well known. 

Governor Saltonstall practically introduced the printing press 
in Connecticut, as he put one into his house as early as 1 709. 

He died suddenly of apoplexy on September 20, 1724, at his 
home in New London, and was buried two days later with high 
military and civic honors. "The horse and foot 'marched in four 
files; the drums, colors, trumpets, halberts, and hilts of swords cov- 
ered with black, and twenty cannon firing at half a minute's dis- 
tance." Rev. Eliphalet Adams, in his funeral sermon, referring 
to his work for the college said: " Under his wing and care our 

65 



'the Governors of Connecticut 



little nursery of learning hath sprung up to that consistence, obser- 
vation and strength that it is this day; and now it heartily bemoans 
the loss of its best friend under God. 

" After the remains of the governor had been deposited in the 
tomb, two volleys belched from the fort, and then the military com- 
panies marching in single file, as each respectively came against the 
tomb, discharged, and so drew up orderly into a body as before 
and dismissed." 

Governor Saltonstall was a great man and an able executive. Pro- 
fessor Dexter has truly said : " Yale College, in common with the 
whole colony, and indeed with all New England, suffered a great 
loss in his sudden death." 



66 



"the 
ELEVENTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

zcas 

JOSEPH TALCOTT 

A son of Connecticut by birth and 
the first scion of the common- 
wealth to enter its politics in youth 
and through years of faithful service 
to receive steady promotion until 
he became governor of the colony 



;* 



JOSEPH 



T A L C O T T 



JOSEPH TALCOTT was the first person to occupy the 
office of governor who was born in Connecticut. 

John Talcott, his grandfather, was a member of the com- 
mittee that sat for the first time with the Court of Magistrates in 
1637, and he was deputy every year following until 1659. ^^ 
was also an assistant and treasurer of the colony. His son, the 
governor's father, was treasurer of the colony and resigned in order 
to take command of the troops raised by Connecticut to participate 
in King Philip's War. He was one of the patentees named in the 
charter, and died full of honors July 23, 1 688. 

Joseph Talcott was born in Hartford, November 11, or 16, 
1669, and was the fourth son of Colonel John Talcott and Helena 
Wakeman. His first appearance in public was when he petitioned 
the General Assembly in 1691 against the division of his father's 
property in Hartford. He claimed possession of all the real estate 
by right of primogeniture. At the age of twenty-three years, in 1692, 
Talcott was chosen selectman of Hartford, and in 1697 he was 
re-elected. From that time he held many offices in the colony. 

When the alarm of the Indian war flashed through Hartford and 
the colony in 1 704, Lieutenant Joseph Talcott was appointed on a 

69 



'T' h e Governors of C o n n e c t i c v t 

committee "to proportion and lay out to each person how much 
they shall make of the fortifications agreed on to be done on the 
north side of the river." 

He was also for twenty years a member of the committee which 
managed the affairs of the Hopkins Grammar School in Hartford. 
In October, 1697, Talcott was appointed ensign of the Train Band 
in Hartford, "on the north side of the riverette," and also held 
various military offices until he was elected governor. In fact, he 
spent so much time in looking after military affairs of the colony 
that the General Assembly in 1724 voted him the sum of fifteen 
pounds "to be paid to his Honor out of the public treasury for his 
good services in that affair." First chosen as a deputy from Hart- 
ford in 1708, he was then elected speaker of the lower house in 
the May session of 1710, and was made an assistant May, 1711. 
This latter office he held until elected deputy governor in October, 
1723. In 1725 he was chosen governor and held the office during 
the next seventeen years, until 1742. 

Governor Talcott's service to the courts of the colony was 
extensive and able. In May, 1721, he was appointed judge of the 
Supreme Court, and was also chief judge of the County Court and 
judge of the Probate Court for Hartford county for a long course 
of years. 

During the long administration of Governor Talcott the chief 
thing which attracts attention in the history of the colony was its 
70 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

constant growth by the estabh'shment of new towns. The town of 
WilHngton, destined to become the birthplace of one of the most 
famous of early American writers, started with twenty-seven 
inhabitants. The settlement of Somers, Cornwall, Salisbury, 
Canaan, Kent, Goshen, Torrington, Winchester, New Hartford, 
Hartland, Colebrook, Union, Barkhamsted, East Haddam, and New 
Fairfield, followed in rapid succession, and demonstrated the 
thriving condition of the community they enlarged. Governor 
Talcott died October 1 1, 1741, and was buried in the old cemetery 
in the rear of the Center Church at Hartford. 

In commenting on Governor Talcott's career a writer has said : 
"In summing up Governor Talcott's character we may say that 
while not in any way a brilliant man he displayed sterling good 
sense, great faithfulness in performing the duties of his station, 
excellent judgment in managing the affairs entrusted to him, and a 
disinclination to follow extreme measures in any direction." 

He left a large family, and many distinguished descendants 
have not allowed the luster of the name to grow dim. 



71 



The 
TWELFTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

zvas 

JONATHAN LAW 

A Harvard graduate who became a mem. 
ber of the Connecticut judiciary, and 
by force of his own exertions attained 
the highest political honor in the colony, 
the expedition against Louisburg, for 
which Connecticut furnished a thousand 
men, occuning during his administration 



JONATHAN 



LAW 



JONATHAN LAW, twelfth governor of Connecticut, was 
born in Milford, August 6, 1674. Richard Law, his 

grandfather, was king's attorney and emigrated to this 
country in 1635. 

Jonathan Law studied at Harvard College and was graduated 
in the class of 1695. After studying law he commenced practice 
in his native town in 1698, and with such success that he was soon 
made chief judge of the New Haven County Court. He held this 
office five years, when, in May, 17x5, he was chosen as an associate 
judge of the Superior Court. In this capacity Jonathan Law 
demonstrated his thorough knowledge of the law, so that his ability 
was rewarded two years later when he was chosen as a governor's 
assistant. He held this office eight years, until 1725, when he 
resigned, having been elected lieutenant governor of the colony. 
During the same year Law was made chief justice of the Superior 
Court, an office he held for seventeen years. 

Upon the death of Governor Talcott, in 1741, Jonathan Law 
succeeded as acting-governor until the time of the regular election 
in the spring, and he succeeded himself annually until his death 
in 1751. 

75 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

After the election of Governor Law it was the rule in Con- 
necticut that a governor hold office until he died or refused to serve 
longer, when the deputy governor took his place for a like term. 

The administration of Governor Law was uneventful, except 
for the expedition against Louisburg, commanded by Roger Wol- 
cott, and for which Connecticut furnished a thousand men. 
Governor Law was a strong opponent of the preaching of Rev. 
George Whitefield and the other revivalists, and signed an act 
" prohibiting any itinerating clergymen or exhorter from preaching 
in a parish without the express desire of the pastor or people." 
Under the provision of this law such preachers as the Rev. Samuel 
Finley were driven from Connecticut as vagrants. 

The governor had an extensive farm near Cheshire, and he 
was one of the first to plant mulberry trees and introduce the raising 
of silk-worms. This industry Governor Law advocated and 
advertised in a public manner by appearing in 1747 wearing the 
first coat and stockings made of New England silk. Dr. Aspin- 
wall of Mansfield and President Stiles of Yale College were 
both deeply interested in the industry and the latter wore a gown 
made of Connecticut silk at the next commencement. From 
this humble beginning developed the extensive silk industry in 
Connecticut. 

Governor Law died on November 6, 1 750, and at his funeral 
Dr. Ezra Stiles pronounced a eulogy in Latin which is still in print. 

76 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

He referred to the dead governor as "a most illustrious man and 
the great patron of Yale College." 

A biographer wrote : " He was unquestionably a man of high 
talents and accomplishments, both natural and acquired. He was 
well acquainted with civil and ecclesiastical subjects, and gradually 
rose by the force of his own exertions to the highest honor in the 
state. He was of a mild and placid temper, amiable in all the 
relations of domestic life, and seems to have v/ell discharged the 
duties imposed upon him." 

A son, Richard Law, LL.D. (1733-1806), was graduated at 
Yale in 1751, and practiced law in New London. He was a 
delegate to the Continental Congress in 1777-78, and 1781-84, and 
mayor of New London for twenty years. The leading lawyer of 
that section of Connecticut, Richard Law was made chief justice 
of the Supreme Court, and Washington appointed him judge of the 
United States District Court. Richard Law and Roger Sherman 
revised the laws of Connecticut. 



77 



"The 
THIRTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
ROGER WOLCOTT 

A Windsor weaver who served in the Connec- 
ticut troops in an expedition against Canada, 
became a major-general, and by self-educa- 
tion rose to the judgeship of the Supreme 
Court bench and to the governorship, ac- 
quiring vast knowledge without even the 
foundation of a common school education 



ROGER 



W O L C O T T 



ON the fourth of January, 1679, in Windsor, Connecticut, 
was born Roger Wolcott, the progenitor of a famous fam- 
ily. In the section of Windsor where the Wolcotts Hved, 
onslaughts from the Indians were so frequent that it was impossible 
for the inhabitants to support either a minister or a schoolmaster. 
It is said by one writer that Roger Wolcott did not attend a com- 
mon school a day in his life. As a boy he learned the weaver's 
trade, and at the age of twenty-one went into that business for 
himself He says he was apprenticed to a "cloathier," in 1694, and 
went into business for himself January 2, 1699. By great industry 
he acquired in a moderate length of time, what was considered a 
competence. 

In 1709 he was chosen as a representative from Windsor, and 
a justice of the peace the following year. Wolcott was selected as 
commissary of the Connecticut troops in the expedition against 
Canada in 1711. In 1714 he became a member of the governor's 
council, which position he held when chosen judge of the County 
Court in 1721. His ability as a judge was so generally recognized 
that in 1732 he was raised to the bench of the Supreme Court of 
the colony. In 1741 Wolcott served as deputy governor of the 



'T' b e Governors of Connecticut 

colony, and chief justice of the Supreme Court. When Connecti- 
cut, in 1 745, furnished one thousand men for the famous expedition 
against Louisburg, Wolcott was made a major general and placed 
in command of the Connecticut troops. During the famous siege. 
General Wolcott was second in command, Sir William Pepperell 
being the chief officer. 

Wolcott succeeded Jonathan Law as governor when the latter 
died in November, 1750, and was continued in office for three 
years. His administration, on the whole, was satisfactory, but near 
the end of its last year an unfortunate affair occurred which injured 
his popularity. A Spanish vessel, while in distress, put into New 
London harbor for protection. While at anchor she was robbed of 
a portion of her valuable cargo. Complaint was made to the 
Crown by the Spanish ambassador at London. There was a good 
deal of agitation over the matter, and for a time it looked as if the 
Connecticut colony would be held responsible for the loss. Gov- 
ernor Wolcott was blamed and severely censured on account of 
existing conditions in that part of the colony which made such a 
robbery possible. Public resentment of what they called " official 
negligence," was widespread. The episode cost Governor Wol- 
cott a re-election, and he " was dismissed by great majority of voices." 

From his retirement in 1754, Governor Wolcott did not again 
enter public life, but lived quietly at his old home in Windsor. He 
devoted the remainder of his life to religious meditation and liter- 
82 



T' h e Governors of Co n n e r t i rut 

ary pursuits. Although he had no education whatever, Governor 
Wolcott, by hard and extensive reading, fitted himself for his career 
in life. To literature he devoted much time, and a small volume 
entitled, " Poetical Meditations," was written by him and pub- 
lished at New London in 1725. It was a collection of six short 
poems, and a long narrative poem entitled, " A Brief Account of 
the Agency of Hon. John Winthrop in the Court of King Charles 
the Second, Anno Domini, 1662, when he obtained a Charter for 
the Colony of Connecticut." This poem has been printed in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society collection. A letter written to 
the Rev. Peter Hobart in 1761, entitled, "The New England Con- 
gregational Churches, etc.," is reprinted in Everest's " Poets of 
Connecticut." 

Governor Wolcott died on May 17, 1767, at Windsor, in the 
eighty-ninth year of his age. On his tomb is the following inscrip- 
tion : 

"Earth's highest station ends in ' Here he lies,' 
And 'dust to dust' conchides her noblest song." 

Governor Wolcott's son, Oliver, was afterward governor of the 
state ; and another one, Erastus, was a judge of the Supreme Court. 



83 



"The 
FOURTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 

THOMAS FITCH 

A learned lawyer who was graduated from 
Yale College and began his career as a 
preacher at "thirty shillings per Sabbath," 
and gained distinction as a legal authority by 
revising the laws of the colony and gaining 
commendation in both England and America 



THOMAS 



C H 



PRESIDENT Dwight, the first, said Governor Thomas Fitch 
was "probably the most learned lawyer who had ever 
become an inhabitant of the colony." For a long period he 
held a foremost position among Connecticut lawyers, and won a 
distinguished place in the profession. Born in Norwalk, in 1700, 
Thomas Fitch was a son of one of the first settlers of the town. 
He studied at Yale College, and was graduated in a class of thirteen, 
in 1721. Five years later he was licensed to preach as a supply in 
the Norwalk church, at "thirty shillings per Sabbath." In May of 
the same year, he began his long public career by serving as a 
deputy to the General Assembly, Afterward he was elected a 
justice of the peace and served from 1726 to 1730 in the Assembly, 
when he was nominated as a governor's assistant. He had pre- 
viously studied law, and was so successful in the practice of his 
profession, that in 1742 he was appointed on a committee to revise 
the laws of the colony. The work dragged along for two years, 
when in May, 1744, Fitch was asked to revise the laws himself 
without the aid of the committee. He accomplished the gigantic 
task in six years, and the result of his labors was published at New 

87 



^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

London. The revision called forth praise in both America and 
England. 

Serving as an assistant in 1734 and 1735, and from 1740 to 
1750, Fitch was then chosen deputy governor by the Assembly, in 
special session, on account of the death of Governor Law, to take 
the place of Roger Wolcott, who had been advanced to the office 
of governor. At the same time he was selected as chief judge of 
the Superior Court of the colony. He was elected to the office of 
deputy governor every year until 1754, when he became governor 
of the colony. The French war began at the commencement of 
Governor Fitch's term of office, and the long, dreary struggle occu- 
pied much of his attention. The clouds of the revolution were 
gathering during the last year of his administration and his course 
at this time resulted in his being practically forced to retire from 
office. 

Governor Fitch reported to the Lords of Trade on September 
7, 1762, that the population of the colony amounted to "a hundred 
and forty-one thousand whites, and four thousand five hundred and 
ninety blacks, or thereabouts." 

Connecticut experienced a share of the excitement resulting 
from the passage of the Stamp Act. In March, 1764, George 
Grenville, Prime Minister of England, introduced his budget of 
" Declaratory Resolves " in the House of Commons, and one year 
was to elapse before the Stamp Act was to go into effect. The 
88 



T' h e Governors of Connecticvt 

following May, the Connecticut Assembly appointed a committee, 
including Governor Fitch, "to collect and set in the most advan- 
tageous light, all such arguments and objections as might justly and 
reasonably be advanced against creating and collecting a revenue 
in America, especially against effecting the same by stamp duties." 
The outcome of the work of the committee was set forth in a pam- 
phlet, written by Governor Fitch, entitled, " Reasons why the 
British Colonies in America, should not be charged with internal 
taxes, by Authority of the Parliament, humbly offered, for consider- 
ation, in behalf of the Colony of Connecticut." This was for- 
warded by order of the Assembly to the colony's agent in London. 

Lord Halifax addressed a circular to Governor Fitch in 1 764, 
asking him to prepare for the use of the British ministry, a schedule 
of particulars as a guide for framing the proposed act. The gov- 
ernor took advantage of the opportunity to enter further remon- 
strance against the Stamp Act. The Act was assented to by 
George III., March 22, 1765, and according to its terms, every 
colonial governor was obliged to take an oath before November 1st, 
to insure the Crown of their loyalty in its support. The penalty 
for refusal to take this oath on the part of a governor, was removal 
from office and a fine of 5,000 pounds. Excitement ran high in the 
colony as the time approached for the obnoxious act to go into effect. 

Evidently fearing the royal mandate. Governor Fitch threw 
the inhabitants of Connecticut into an uncontrollable rage, when, 

89. 



I' h e Governors of Connecticut 

on October 29, 1 765, he took the oath to sustain the law he had so 
ably opposed. The wrath against his course grew apace as the 
time for re-election approached. Two months before the election, 
in March, 1766, the governor published an anonymous pamphlet, 
which is still preserved in the library of Yale University. It was 
entitled, " Some Reasons that influenced the Governor to take, and 
the Councilors to administer, the Oath." This able defense of his 
actions did not ward off the impending blow, and he was succeeded 
by William Pitkin. 

After his defeat. Governor Fitch lived in retirement until his 
death, which occurred at Norwalk, on July 18, 1774, in the seventy- 
fourth year of his age. In the sermon delivered at the funeral of 
Governor Fitch, the Rev. Moses Dickinson (Y. C, 1717), his pas- 
tor, spoke of the dead governor's life-work in glowing terms. 
Referring to his revision of the laws of the colony, he said the work 
was "justly esteemed by gentlemen in Great Britain, who are 
acquainted with them, to be the best code of plantation laws that 
were ever published." 

The governor's descendants have been leading citizens in the 
southwestern portion of Connecticut. 



90 



FIFTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
WILLIAM PITKIN 

An East Hartford boy who was chosen 
town collector at the age of nineteen 
years, and becoming interested in mili- 
tary affairs in the stormy period preced- 
ing the Revolution, boldly denounced 
the tyranny of the mother country 



WILLIAM 



PITKIN 



WILLIAM Pitkin, the governor who distinguished him- 
self during the excitement attending the passage of the 
Stamp Act, by his bold uncompromising advocacy of the 
cause of the colonies, was born April 30, 1694, in the town of East 
Hartford. Of his early life and education we know very little. 
He was a member of the Pitkin family that furnished a number of 
brilliant men to the commonwealth at different periods. At the 
age of nineteen William Pitkin was chosen town collector. He 
was afterward a representative in the General Assembly from 1728 
to 1734. During these years he took a deep interest in military 
affairs, becoming a captain of the Train Band in 1 730 and a colonel 
in 1734. In 1734 he became a member of the governor's council, 
and the year following was appointed a judge of the County Court. 
He occupied this position until 1752. Governor Pitkin was also a 
judge of the Superior Court, and served as chief justice of the 
Supreme Court for twelve years. 

In all matters that pertained to the future welfare of Connecti- 
cut, and in the days when the colony was rearing the structure of 
its future freedom, Governor Pitkin was an important figure. 

93 



'T b e Governors of Connecticut 

He was a member of the famous Albany convention of 1754, 
when Franklin offered a plan for the union of the colonies. Gov- 
ernor Pitkin also served on the committee, of which Franklin was 
chairman, appointed by the convention to draft a constitution. 
Always a strong exponent of colonial rights, Pitkin was one of the 
first in Connecticut to resist the Stamp Act, when the British 
ministry undertook to foist that measure on the colonies. He was 
thoroughly uncompromising in his denunciation of the act, and 
when on October 29, 1765, Governor Fitch took the oath to 
uphold it, William Pitkin, then lieutenant governor, showed his 
courage in a forcible manner. Pitkin, together with several 
other prominent men, including Jonathan Trumbull, were in the 
room where Governor Fitch and members of the council were to 
take the oath to support the Act. Pitkin indignantly rebelled 
against the action of the governor, and in company with the sturdy 
Trumbull, deliberately left the room while the oath was being 
administered. This patriotic act was thoroughly commended by 
the majority of the people of Connecticut, and they manifested their 
approbation in a substantial way when, in the following May, 1 766, 
he was elected governor of the colony by an overwhelming majority. 

A newspaper of that day rather facetiously remarked, in com- 
menting on the election, that Pitkin's majority over Fitch — who 
had fallen into popular disfavor — " was so great that the votes were 
not counted." Governor Pitkin's course through the stormy period 

94 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

preceding the Revolution was uniformly consistent and courageously- 
patriotic, which called forth the plaudits of his constituents. He 
died while in office, in October, 1769, 

His biographer tells us that the governor was " of commanding 
appearance, highly affable and pleasing in manner." The follow- 
ing inscription is on his monument : " Here lieth interred the body 
of William Pitkin, Esq. — late Governor of the Colony of Connecti- 
cut. To the God of Nature indebted for all his talents, he aimed 
to employ them in Religion, without affectation, chearful. Humble, 
and Temperate, zealous and bold for the Truth, Faithful in distrib- 
uting Justice, Scattering away Evil with his Eye, an Example of 
Christian Virtue, a Patron of his Country, a Benefactor to the Poor, 
a Tender Parent, and Faithful Friend. Twelve years he presided 
in the Superior Court, and three and a half Governor in chief 
After serving his generation by the will of God, with calmness and 
serenity, fell on sleep, the 1st day of October, A. D., 1769 — in the 
76th year of his age." 



95 



i:he 

SIXTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
JONATHAN TRUMBULL 

The son of a country storekeeper in Lebanon 
who studied theology, and then while a 
clerk in his father's store acquired law 
and was elected to the legislature twenty- 
three times, and became the distinguished 
war governor of Connecticut and friend 
and adviser of General Washington 



JONATHAN 



TRUMBULL 



JONATHAN Trumbull, the first war governor of Con- 
necticut, is pre-eminently known in history as the brave 
patriot who presided over the destinies of his native state 
during its most critical period. His other brilliant qualities fade 
away before that magnificent patriotism which made Connecticut 
worship her noble son. 

He was born in the town of Lebanon on October 12, 1710, 
and was the son of Joseph Trumbull, a well-to-do merchant and 
farmer who had moved to the little town ten years previous. At 
thirteen years of age Trumbull entered Harvard College and was 
graduated in the class of 1727. Early in life his family and friends 
discovered the young man's fine talents, and a professional life was 
planned for him. He studied theology, which was thoroughly 
agreeable to his tastes, and in a few years was licensed to preach. 
His career in the ministry was brief, but it is pointed out by good 
authorities that if he had continued in the profession Jonathan 
Trumbull would have become, without doubt, a conspicuous figure 
in the church. 

His plans in life were changed abruptly in 1731 when an 
older brother left his father's store in Lebanon and Trumbull 

99 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

resigned from the ministry to carry on the business. While attend- 
ing to his duties in the store Trumbull studied law, and two years 
later, in 1733, was elected a member of the General Assembly, 
which marked the opening of his long public career. In this body 
he became such a leading spirit that in 1739 he was elected speaker 
and occupied the office with such success that during the following 
year he was chosen as assistant. Trumbull was re-elected to this 
position twenty-two times, and was looked upon as one of the 
soundest men in the colony. He afterward became judge of the 
County Court, and assistant judge of the Superior Court, and chief 
judge of the latter body from 1766 to 1769. In the year 1767 
Trumbull was elected deputy governor and held the office for a year, 
when he succeeded William Pitkin as governor, upon the latter's 
death in 1769. 

His utter abhorrence of the Stamp Act was abundantly demon- 
strated in 1 765 when he absolutely refused to take the oath required 
of every official to support the obnoxious act. Bancroft remarks 
concerning this period that Trumbull "was the model of the 
virtues of a rural magistrate ; profoundly religious, grave in man- 
ner, discriminating in judgment, fixed in his principles." Professor 
Johnston says that for several years Trumbull had been at the head 
of the popular volunteer organization known as the " Sons of 
Liberty," which patrolled the country, "overawed those who were 
inclined to support the British government, and making ready to 
100 



l' b e Governors of Connecticut 

resist the execution of the law." When Jared Ingersoll rode from 
Hartford to New Haven to put the Stamp Act into operation he 
found fully a thousand of these "Sons of Liberty " ready to resist to 
the last degree. 

When Trumbull became governor the people of Connecticut 
were convinced that in him the colony had found the man the 
people needed at that time. Before Trumbull doubt and hesitation 
fled in the twinkling of an eye. He threw his whole soul into the 
impending struggle, and while the war clouds were not as black in 
Connecticut as in the neighboring colony of Massachusetts where 
Trumbull's classmate, Hutchinson, was governor, yet the crisis 
called for a man in whom craven frailty was an unknown quantity. 

Trumbull, with many other worthy men, was committed to 
the idea that extreme measures in dealing with existing difficulties 
were unnecessary ; that it was neither wise nor expedient to sepa- 
rate from Great Britain, and he personally thought the troubles 
between the colonies and the mother country ought to be settled 
" ^y gentle and insensible methods rather than by power and force." 

His private opinions were quickly set aside, however, when 
the declaration of war came ; and from that time Trumbull was 
laboring day and night for the cause for which the colonies were 
making such a sacrifice. 

A correspondence soon ensued between Governor Trum- 
bull and General George Washington. It gradually assumed 

lOI 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

a close personal cast, which was continued after the Revolu- 
tion. 

In August, 1776, when Washington wrote Governor Trum- 
bull concerning the weakness of the Continental army, the latter 
immediately called together the council of safety and supplemented 
the five Connecticut regiments already in the field by nine more, 
which proved to be of incalculable benefit to the cause. 

The governor's pertinent injunctions to those who had not left 
the fields for the war have come down to us ringing with his 
magnificent patriotism. He said: "Join yourself to one of the 
companies now ordered to New York, or form yourselves into distinct 
companies and choose captains forthwith. March on ; this shall be 
your warrant : May the God of the Armies of Israel be your 
leader." It is no wonder such words as these inspired many a 
Connecticut farmer to leave the harvest fields unfinished, and begin 
the weary tramp to New York where they arrived in the nick of 
time. Washington wrote to Trumbull that he had " full confidence 
in his most ready assistance on every occasion, and that such 
measures as appear to you most likely to advance the public good, 
in this and every instance, will be most cheerfully adopted." 

Trumbull's advice to the great commander-in-chief, and the 
latter's implicit confidence in the governor's uncommonly sound 
judgment, has been treated at length by historians. When Wash- 
ington implored the governors of the New England States in 1781 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

to raise more men, Trumbull sent back word that he should have 
all he needed. Jared Sparks, the biographer of Trumbull, wrote 
that Washington relied on Connecticut's governor as one of his 
main pillars of support, and often consulted him in emergencies. 
The epithet " Brother Jonathan," applied to Governor Trumbull, 
originated with Washington, who according to a learned writer, 
when perplexed or in any emergency used to exclaim, " Let us hear 
what Brother Jonathan says." 

Governor Trumbull was elected every year for fifteen con- 
secutive years, and his term of office covered the whole Rev- 
olutionary period. When the war with Great Britain had reached 
an end Governor Trumbull, who had been in continuous public 
service for fifty-one years, asked the General Assembly to allow him 
to retire. His speech before that body in October, 1783, was a 
memorable one, and referring to his proposed retirement he said : 
"• I have to request the favor of you, gentlemen, and through you 
of all freemen of the state, that after May next I may be excused 
from any further service in public life, and from this time I may no 
longer be considered as an object for your suffrages for any public 
employment. The reasonableness of this request, I am persuaded, 
will be questioned by no one. The length of time I have devoted 
to their service, with my declining state of vigor and activity, will, 
I please myself, form for me a sufficient and unfailing excuse with 
my fellow citizens." 

103 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

At the next election Governor Trumbull was retired, and he 
never again entered public life. His services were recognized by 
both Yale College and the University of Edinburgh, both of which 
conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 
Governor Trumbull died at his home in Lebanon on August 17, 
1785, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. 

During his life the governor made a large and valuable collec- 
tion of historical papers and manuscripts which was presented to the 
Massachusetts Historical Society after his death. He had four sons, 
Joseph, Jonathan, David and John. Joseph, born in 1737, was a 
member of the Continental Congress and commissary general in the 
Revolutionary War. He died at Lebanon in 1778. Another son. 
Jonathan, born in 1740, was a distinguished soldier and aide-de- 
camp to Washington. He was afterward governor of Connecticut, 
The family has been one of the most distinguished in the history of 
this state. John Trumbull, another son, was the renowned painter 
whose "Battle of Bunker Hill," and "Death of Montgomery" 
brought him unceasing fame. His nephew, Joseph, was a congress- 
man and afterward governor of Connecticut, The family also in- 
cludes John Trumbull, the poet and author of " McFingal;" Rev. 
Benjamin Trumbull, author of the " History of Connecticut; " James 
Hammond Trumbull, the philologist ; Henry Clay Trumbull, the 
leader in Sunday school work ; ex-Senator Lyman Trumbull of 
Illinois, and Jonathan Trumbull, the prominent librarian of Norwich. 
104 



SEVENTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 

MATTHEW GRISWOLD 

A boy from the village of Lj'me who with- 
out instructor or teacher developed his 
natural abilities and became one of the 
most prominent lawyers in Connecticut; be- 
ing elected its chief executive; elected presi- 
dent of a convention which ratified the 
Constitution of the United States; and 
honored by a degree from Yale College 



MATTHEW 



G R I S W O L D 



MATTHEW Griswold was born in the town of Lyme 
on March 25, 1714. His ancestors were members of an 
old and reputable family who had lived in that part of 
Connecticut for many years. Griswold's education was about as 
meager as it was possible to make it, and the statement is made on 
good authority that the governor never received any public instruc- 
tion whatever. The natural abilities of the young man attracted 
attention, and his remarkably mature judgment at a tender age was 
the wonder of those who knew him. When he had reached the 
age of twenty-five years he began the study of law. He never had 
an instructor or teacher, but by very close and persistent application 
to the studies, he soon acquired a sufficient knowledge of the law 
to gain prompt admission to the bar. Entering upon the practice 
of his profession, he became an indefatigable worker, and soon rose 
to the prominence of an advocate, which he always enjoyed after- 
ward. Griswold was one of the most prominent lawyers of Con- 
necticut for many years, and his reputation as an able, faithful, and 
conscientious advocate was possibly never excelled by a man who 
educated himself 

107 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

His first public office was that of king's attorney, which he 
held for some years, but his pubHc career really commenced in 
1751 when he was elected as a representative from Lyme to the 
General Assembly, He was returned every year until 1759, when 
he became a member of the council. In 1776 Griswold was chosen 
a judge of the Supreme Court, a position for which he was 
especially adapted as was demonstrated by his subsequent career 
on the bench. Three years later, in 1 769, he was elected lieutenant 
governor of the colony and chief justice of the state. 

Occupying the office of lieutenant governor for fifteen years, 
covering the entire period of the Revolutionary War, and being in 
close touch with Governor Trumbull, it is doubtful if a better suc- 
cessor to the famous " war governor " could have been found. He 
succeeded Trumbull as governor in 1784 and held the office for 
two years. In 1786, when he ceased to be governor, Griswold 
practically retired from public life. He only appeared in a public 
capacity once thereafter, and this was in 1788, when he acted as 
president of the convention which met at Hartford in January of 
that year for the purpose of ratifying the Constitution of the United 
States. Yale conferred the degree of LL. D. on Governor Griswold 
in 1779, and his distinguished ability was abundantly recognized 
in various ways. He died at his home in Lyme on April 28, 
1799, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. One son, the Hon. 
Roger Griswold, was governor of Connecticut. 
108 



^ b e Governors of Connecticut 

An authority in commenting on the Hfe and character of 
Governor Griswold writes as follows: 

" But if we descend to the more private walks of life, and view 
his character as a private citizen, we shall find the social sweetly 
blended with the Christian virtues. He possessed a benevolent 
disposition which rendered his deportment truly engaging in all the 
domestic relations. Having a frank and an open heart he was 
sincere in all his professions of friendship, and consequently enjoyed 
the confidence and esteem of a numerous and extensive acquaintance. 
He was truly hospitable and abounded in acts of charity. The 
children of want he never sent hungry from his door, but, guided 
by a real sympathy, he fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and 
relieved the distressed." 



109 



"The 
EIGHTEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

ivas 

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON 

The son of a Windham farmer who first 
learned the cooper's trade and by industry- 
became proficient in law, receiving distinc- 
tion at the bar, becoming a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence and passing 
through various political trusts to the gov- 
ernorship and finally to Congress where he 
was elected to the presidency of that body 



SAMUEL 



HUNTINGTON 



IN many ways the career of Samuel Huntington, a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, was one of the most remarkable 
of any of our governors. The story of his life is that of a 
plow-boy, who, by his own exertions, became a great lawyer, 
president of Congress, chief justice ot the Connecticut Supreme 
Court, and finally governor of his native state. It affords a brilliant 
example of what a man can do in attaining great honors through 
self-education. 

Samuel Huntington was the son of a poor farmer living in 
Windham, but whose ancestors were from the town of Saybrook, 
where they were early settlers. He was born on July 2, 1731, and 
his early life was characterized by industrious habits, a great desire 
to work and to obtain knowledge. His father, a hard working 
farmer struggled to give his son the education he desired, but 
apprenticed him early in life to learn the cooper's trade. He also 
worked on the farm at odd times, and attended the district school 
irregularly. All his youthful energies were bent in one direction, 
and that object was the advancement of his mind. The numberless 
obstacles which present themselves to every poor boy were bravely 

1^3 



'T' h e G V e r 72 r s of Connecticut 

brushed aside in his case. By unremitting study during his spare 
hours Huntington acquired a fairly good knowledge of Latin and 
several other studies, so that at the age of twenty-two he decided to 
study law. 

With only borrowed books and no instructors whatever he set 
about the task with a grim determination that meant success. He 
was indefatigable in his labor, and in due time mastered the law 
sufficiently, so that he commenced the practice of his chosen pro- 
fession. Clients were plentiful, and he soon acquired so good a 
reputation that he decided to move to Norwich — a much larger 
field. This was in 1760, and his public career commenced soon 
afterward ; for his uncommon ability was recognized at once, and 
honors heaped upon him. 

In 1764 he was elected a representative from the town of Nor- 
wich to the General Assembly, and the following year was chosen a 
member of the governor's council. As king's attorney in 1765 he 
served with distinction; in 1774 he was appointed an associate 
judge of the Superior Court, and in 1775 a delegate from Con- 
necticut to the Continental Congress. 

In Congress Huntington displayed his fine talents and his great 
learning to good effect. He was a zealous supporter and signer of 
the Declaration of Independence, and a man whose loyalty and 
patriotism was of the most sturdy type. Continued in Congress for 
about five consecutive terms, Huntington was a valued member, 

114 



T' b e Governors of Connecticut 

highly esteemed by his colleagues. In 1779 he was honored by 
being elected president of Congress, then the highest office in the land. 
He held this position from September 28, 1779, to July 6, 1781, 
succeeding John Jay who had been appointed minister to Spain. 
In 1781 his health failed to such an extent that he retired from 
Congress, and his resignation was accepted with reluctance on July 
6th of that year. In parting he received the unanimous thanks of 
Congress " in testimony of appreciation of his conduct in the chair 
and in the execution of public business." 

Returning to Connecticut he resumed his duties in the 
governor's council and on the bench, having been continued in 
both offices during his congressional career. Two years later he 
returned to Congress and soon became actively engaged in its 
deliberations. He again retired during the same year and went to 
Norwich ; but he was not destined to remain out of office long, for 
in 1 784 he received the appointment as chief justice of the Supreme 
Court. During the same year he was elected lieutenant governor, 
and in 1786 was advanced to the office of governor. He held the 
position until his death, which occurred on January 5, 1796, at his 
home in Norwich. As governor of his native state, he displayed 
that superior judgment for which he was famous throughout his life. 

As an instance of the repute in which Governor Huntington 
was held as a statesman may be noted the fact that each of the 
corporations of Yale and Dartmouth colleges, in 1787 and 1785 

115 



T^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

respectively, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Laws. A biographer has written : " He was a thoughtful man and 
talked but little — the expression of his mind and heart was put 
forth in his actions. He seemed to have a natural timidity, or 
modesty, which some mistook for the reserve of haughtiness; yet 
with those with whom he was familiar he was free and winning in 
his manner. As a devoted Christian and a true patriot he never 
swerved from his duty or looked back after he had placed his hand 
to the work." A nephew of the governor, adopted and educated 
by him, was governor of Ohio from 1808 to 1810, and one of the 
most prominent citizens of that state. 



"The 
NINETEENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
OLIVER WOLCOTT 

Born in Windsor and graduated from Yale 
College, he entered the army and became a 
military ofScer, marching his men to the 
northern frontier in the French and Indian 
War, thwarting the British by his heroic 
soldiery in the Revolution, serving his com- 
monwealth in Congress, becoming a signer 
of the Declaration of Independence, and the 
second member of the distinguished Wolcott 
family to occupy the office of governor 




01ij^.£^^l^ 



OLIVER 



W O L C O T T 



OLIVER Wolcott, the second member of that famous family 
to occupy the office of governor, was a distinguished soldier, 
a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a member 
of Congress. He was the son of Governor Roger Wolcott, and 
was born in Windsor on November 2o, 1726. Entering Yale 
College in 1743 he was graduated in the class of 1747. Almost 
immediately after graduation the young man entered the army, 
received a captain's commission, and recruited a company at once. 
Marching his men to the northern frontier he took an active part in 
the French and Indian War which was then raging. The following 
year, 1748, the treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle was concluded, and as 
that put an end to further hostilities, Wolcott's services were no 
longer needed, so he returned to Connecticut. 

As a proof of his great ability as a military officer may be 
instanced the fact that he left this state as a captain and returned a 
major general. He retired to private life at this time and began the 
study of medicine under the direction of Dr. Alexander Wolcott, a 
brother, and one of the celebrated practitioners of the day. Upon 
the completion of his studies Wolcott began to practice in Goshen, 
but soon received the appointment as sheriff of the recently organ- 

119 



^ h e Governors of Connecticut 



ized Litchfield County. In 1774 he was elected a member of the 
council and continued holding the office until 1786, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that he was, during the same period, a delegate to the 
Continental Congress, judge of the Litchfield County Court, and 
judge of probate for the district. He did excellent service also as 
a member of the commission on Indian affairs, appointed by the 
first Congress. Much of his time was devoted toward bringing 
about a satisfactory settlement between Pennsylvania and Connec- 
ticut over the Wyoming controversy. 

General Wolcott first took his seat in the second Congress in 
January, 1776, and was in attendance throughout the famous 
debates over the Declaration of Independence. During this critical 
period he distinguished himself by upholding the cause of the col- 
onies with a spirit of lofty patriotism. He signed the Declaration 
of Independence and then returned to Connecticut, where his val- 
uable services were needed in the field. The governor placed him 
in command of a detachment of Connecticut militia embracing 
fourteen regiments raised for the defense ot New York. He 
thoroughly organized these troops, divided them into brigades, 
and participated in the actions about New York; but returned to 
his home in Litchfield after the battle of Long Island had been 
fought. In November of that year he resumed his seat in Congress 
and was with that body when in December, 1776, Congress fied to 
Baltimore from Philadelphia on account of the occupation of the 
latter place by the British. 



''The Governors of Connecticut 

Having raised several thousand recruits during the summer of 
1777, General Wolcott reinforced General Putnam on Hudson's 
river, and rendered valuable assistance to the latter officer. Dur- 
ing this period he was corresponding with leaders throughout the 
colonies on matters of military importance. In the fall he joined 
General Horatio Gates, in the northern department, and took an 
active part in the capture of Burgoyne's army in October of that year. 
During these operations General Wolcott was in command of a 
brigade. 

Returning to Congress, which was then assembled at York, 
Pennsylvania, Wolcott resumed his seat in that body and 
remained until July, 1778. 

When General Tryon began his expedition of plunder and 
devastation of Connecticut towns during the summer of 1779 Gen- 
eral Wolcott took command of a division of state militia and 
defended the southwestern coast in a successful manner. Fairfield 
and Norwalk were laid in ashes, and other towns plundered in a 
barbarous manner, but the heroic work of General Wolcott's com- 
mand thwarted many plans of the British. 

Iw 1780 Wolcott was again elected a member of Congress, 
which office he held for the next four years, although he did not 
attend the sessions regularly. During these years his time was 
divided, attending to civil and military affairs in Connecticut. He 
also acted as an Indian agent during a portion of this period. 



T h 



Governors of Connecticut 



General Wolcott was one of the commissioners who settled 
terms of peace with the famous Six Nations, a tribe of Indians who 
lived in the western portion of New York, and had spread terror 
and desolation among the white inhabitants for years. In 1786 
General Wolcott was chosen lieutenant governor of Connecticut, 
and was re-elected to this office every year until 1796, when he 
was chosen governor of his native state. He served one year and 
was then re-elected, but did not complete the term, as he died while 
in office on December 1, 1797, in the seventy-second year of his age. 

Governor Wolcott's patriotism was of the highest type, and he 
was always looked upon by the leaders of the Revolution as a brave 
defender of the cause. 

In 1776 Governor Wolcott's home in Litchfield was the scene 
of a famous episode which has been rehearsed many times. For a 
time one of the principal ornaments of lower New York, was an 
equestrian statue of George III. This was cast in lead and stood 
on Bowling Green where it attracted much attention. Exactly one 
week after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence this 
statue of King George was taken down and carried by night to the 
home of General Wolcott in Litchfield. Here a sort of celebra- 
tion was held and then the statue was cast into bullets, making 
42,088 cartridges, which were used by the Continental soldiers. 

The historian of Litchfield pays this tribute to his public 
career: "He was singularly modest and even diffident in his inter- 



1" h e Governors of Connects' c u t 

course with men in the common walks of hfe. Those who best 
knew this gentlemen well knew that the highest trust was never 
improperly placed in him. He possessed a benevolent heart and 
was warm in his friendship ; a firm friend to order ; a promoter of 
peace; a lover of religion; and a tried, unshaken friend to the 
institution of the gospel. He was an indefatigable student, and 
neither wasted his time nor his words. His mind was clear and 
penetrating; his views of political subjects just and comprehensive; 
his discernment of the wisest means to promote the best ends, ready 
and exact; and his acquaintance with science, particularly with 
theology, extensive. He had remarkable talent at investigation. 
He has left a name which is a sweet savor to his surviving friends; 
and a lively hope that he is enjoying the rewards of the faithful in 
immortal bliss." 

Lossing says of Governor Wolcott : "As a patriot and states- 
man, a Christian and a man, Governor Wolcott presented a bright 
example; for inflexibility, virtue, piety, and integrity were his 
prominent characteristics." 

A son, Oliver Wolcott, Jr., became secretary of the United 
States Treasury, and the first governor of Connecticut under the 
Constitution. 



123 



TWENTIETH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

ivas the second 

JONATHAN TRUMBULL 

A son of the famous " war governor" born 
in Lebanon, graduated from Harvard Col- 
lege, and a member of the General Assem- 
bly at the outbreak of the Revolution— He 
entered the conflict and was chosen private 
secretary and first aid to General Washing- 
ton, becoming second speaker of the House 
of Representatives, a member of the 
United States Senate, and governor of 
Connecticut for eleven consecutive years 



JONATHAN 



TRUMBULL, 2nd 



THE second Jonathan Trumbull was one of the governors of 
this commonwealth that acquired a national reputation. Born 
at Lebanon, on March 26, 1740, he was the second son of 
Jonathan Trumbull, the famous "war governor." He prepared for 
and entered Harvard College in 1755 at the age of fifteen years. 
While a college student he had a reputation for scholarly ability 
that followed him throughout his career. 

When he was graduated with honors in 1759, a useful and patri- 
otic career was predicted by his friends. Settling in Lebanon,Trum- 
bull was soon elected a member of the General Assembly, and was in 
that body when the Revolutionary War opened. He immediately 
entered into the conflict with the same strong spirit of determination 
which characterized his life afterward. The Continental Congress 
appointed Trumbull paymaster-general of the northern department 
of the Colonial army under General Washington. This position he 
filled with such thorough satisfaction to the commander-in-chief, that 
in 1781 Trumbull was selected to succeed Alexander Hamilton as 
private secretary and first aid to Major General Washington. He 
held this honorable position until the close of the Revolution, when 

127 



T' h 



: e 



G 



e r n r s 



f 



C n n e c t i c 21 t 



he returned to Connecticut. Shortly after his return he was again 
elected to the General Assembly, and was twice made speaker of the 
House of Representatives. In 1789 he was elected as a Federalist 
to represent his district in Congress, and in that capacity he won 
distinction of a high order. Two years after his first election to 
Congress, Trumbull was chosen second speaker of the House 
of Representatives, succeeding the Honorable F, A. Muhlenburg 
of Pennsylvania. Trumbull continued in this office four years 
when he succeeded the Honorable Stephen Mix Mitchell of 
Wethersfield as United States Senator from Connecticut. 

He was a member of the Senate only a short time as he 
resigned in 1796 to accept the office of lieutenant governor of 
Connecticut. 

Trumbull left a reputation in Congress as an honorable and 
talented legislator. He was lieutenant governor two years and in 
1798 succeeded General Wolcott as governor of Connecticut. 
Governor Trumbull was also chief judge of the Supreme Court of 
Errors, while holding the office of governor. He was governor 
of Connecticut for eleven consecutive years, the longest since his 
father's administration — a record that has not been equalled by any 
chief executive since that date. 

Governor Trumbull died at his home in Lebanon on August 
7, 1809, having reached the age of sixty-nine years. In Dr. Stanley 
Griswold's "Miscellaneous Sermons" is this tribute to Governor 



128 



T" b e Governors of C o n ?i e c t i c u t 

Trumbull's accomplishments: "Genius, docility, and love of learn- 
ing appeared in early years. At fifteen admitted to Harvard, 
receiving its honors in 1759, he left the University with his charac- 
ter unblemished, respectable for science, and peculiarly amiable 
in manners." 

Another writer says of him : "Governor Trumbull was a man 
of handsome talents, of very respectable acquirements, of amiable 
manner, and was distinguished for his social virtues. The confi- 
dence of his fellow citizens, which he so long enjoyed in a very 
eminent degree, affords the most satisfactory evidence of his talents 
and virtues." 



TWENTY-FIRST GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

ivas 

JOHN TREADWELL 

The son of a well-to-do mechanic in Farming- 
ton, he was graduated from Yale College, 
studied law, engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness and later became a manufacturer— He 
became active in the struggle for freedom, 
entered politics and was elected to many 
executive honors, becoming the last of 
the Puritan governors of Connecticut and 
later a writer on theological subjects 



JOHN 



TREAD WELL 



JOHN Tread well was the last of the Puritan governors of Con- 
necticut, and in him we see blended for the last time the 
theologian and statesman. He was born at Farmington, 
November 23, 1745, and lived there all his life. His father was 
a well-to-do mechanic, and a stern Puritan, who told his son when 
he reached the age of sixteen that he could have one week in which 
to decide whether he would receive a college education. The 
future governor accepted the offer before the week had expired, 
and Rev. Timothy Pitkin, a son of Governor Pitkin, set about 
preparing the young man for college. In 1763, at the age of 
eighteen, Treadwell entered Yale where he gave particular attention 
to the classics. It is said that John Locke's "Essay on the Human 
Understanding," and Jonathan Edward's "Inquiry into the Freedom 
of the Will," were his favorite works. He was graduated from Yale 
in the class of 1767, and being heir to a considerable fortune he 
rejected the idea of pursuing a professional career, although he 
studied law with Judge Hosmer of Middletown. Soon after, 
Treadwell engaged in a mercantile business, hoping to increase 



his income but the result was an embarrassing failure. 



^33 



l' b e Governors of Connecticut 

He began the manufacture of nitre later on, however, and extri- 
cated himself from the financial loss he had previously sustained. 

During the Revolutionary period Treadvvell engaged in the 
struggle for freedom. In 1754 and 1755 he was active as a mem- 
ber of the "Committee of Inspection and Correspondence," and in 
1776 his townsmen elected him as their representative in the General 
Assembly. This office he held for the next seven years, when in 
1783, he was elevated to the governor's council. He continued as a 
member of this body by successive elections until 1 798. Treadwell 
was a member of the Continental Congress in 1785 and 1786. In 
1789 he was elected judge of probate of the Farmington district and 
also a judge of the Supreme Court of Errors. These offices he held 
until 1809, and he was afterward a judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas for several years. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1798 
and continued in this office until 1 809, when he succeeded Trumbull 
as governor. Governor Treadwell held the office almost two years. 

In 1795 Govemor Treadwell took an important part in 
negotiating the sale of lands in Ohio the proceeds of which consti- 
tuted the Connecticut School Fund. He was one of the delegates 
to the convention at Hartford that ratified the Constitution of the 
United States in 1788. 

Thirty years later Governor Treadwell was also an important 
member of the convention which formed our present constitution. 
In 1800 Yale College conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

134 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Retiring from public life in 1811 Governor Treadwell spent a 
large portion of his time in writing on religious subjects. He was 
attentive to the scriptures from his youth up, and was assisted in 
the acquisition of religious knowledge by the study of the New 
Testament in the original Greek. The outcome was a series of essays 
on theological subjects, which are preserved, but were never pub- 
lished. Governor Treadwell was active in founding the "Connecti- 
cut Missionary Society," the first organization of its kind in North 
America. Governor Treadwell was one of the rich men of the 
section, his estate inventorying $74,000. 

He died at his home in Farmington on August 18, 1823. 
His death was a serious loss to the people of Farmington. Rev. 
Dr. Noah Porter, pastor of the Congregational church in Farming- 
ton, preached the governor's funeral sermon. Among other things 
he said, "He was never suspected of partiality, duplicity, or a time- 
serving policy. He was known to act uprightly, and with a sincere 
desire to promote the public good. Probably no man was better 
acquainted with the internal policy of the state. And it is a sin- 
gular proof of his fidelity, if not his disinterestedness, that after this 
long and arduous course of public service he had only about the 
same amount of property that he had possessed when he 
began it. The emoluments of all his offices, together 
with the income of his farm, but little exceeded the expenses of 
his family." 

135 



'T' b e Governors of Connecticut 

Professor Olmstead writing of his ability as a scholar says: 
"It may be safely asserted that few, if any, of our chief magistrates 
have retained more fully the acquisition of their youth, or distin- 
guished the latter periods of life by more solid learning. What was 
his comparative ability or usefulness, as a theologian or as a magis- 
trate and civilian, it would be difficult to decide. This is much 
more evident, that few men have combined in themselves in so 
eminent a degree the most important qualifications for all three and 
that in him they reflected on each other a lustre, and together 
formed an excellence of character such as we are not often in this 
world to behold." 



1^6 



TWENTY-SECOND GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

ZVcJS 

ROGER GRISWOLD 

The son and grandson of governors, he studied 
law with his father at his birthplace in Lyme, 
graduated from Yale College, and began his 
brilliant career at the bar in Norwich— Later he 
returned to Lyme and was elected as a Federalist 
to represent his district in the House of Representa- 
tives where he ranked as a leader of his party in 
the administration of Washington and John 
Adams and was invited by the latter to be- 
come a member or his cabinet but declined 



ROGER 



G R I S W O L D 



THE second Governor Griswold was descended from two 
governors of Connecticut, he being the son of Matthew 
Griswold, and grandson of Roger Wolcott, He inherited 
many of the distinguished traits of his able ancestors. 

Roger Griswold was born in Lyme on May 21, 1762, and 
entered Yale College at the age of fourteen. He was graduated in 
1780, and immediately began the study of law in his father's office. 
In 1783 Griswold was admitted to the bar and commenced 
his brilliant career in the town of Norwich. Great success was his 
from the first, and few men in this state have ever acquired a greater 
reputation at the bar than Roger Griswold. He returned to his 
native town of Lyme in 1794 and was elected as a Federalist to 
represent his district in the national House of Representatives. 
He was re-elected five consecutive times, serving from 1795 to 
1805. During the time he served as a congressman his ability 
and profound judgment placed him in the front ranks. The period 
covered a portion of Washington's administration, the whole of 
John Adam's, and a part of Jefferson's. He ranked with the 
first of his party, was distinguished "for his powerful talents in 
debate, and the independence and decision of his conduct." 

139 



The Governors of Connecticut 

In 1798 Griswold had a "violent personal encounter" with 
Matthew Lyon, the famous Vermont politician. Lyon appeared to 
be the aggressor, although an attempt to expel him from the 
House was unsuccessful. In 1801 President Adams offered 
Griswold the position of secretary of war in his cabinet, but he 
declined the office, having previously requested the president to 
withdraw the nomination. 

Returning to Connecticut, Griswold was in 1807 chosen a 
judge of the Supreme Court, and remained on the bench two years, 
when the Legislature elected him lieutenant governor. 

The same year, 1809, he was also a presidential elector on the 
Pinckney and King ticket. Harvard College honored him in 1811 
by conferring the degree of Doctor of Laws, and Yale followed in 
1812 with the same degree. 

Griswold served as lieutenant governor two years, when in 
1811 he was elected governor of Connecticut. During his adminis- 
tration the president made a requisition on Connecticut for four 
companies of troops for garrison duty, but Governor Griswold 
refused to furnish them on the ground, that they were not needed 
to "repel invasion." Governor Griswold had been in office nearly 
a year and a half when he died on Sunday, October 25, 1812. 
Taken away in the prime of life, his death was generally lamented. 
The Honorable David Daggett delivered an eloquent eulogy upon 
his character before both houses of the legislature at New Haven. 

Leading public men at the time agreed that Governor 

140 



i 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Griswold had few equals in his day. The late Chief Justice 
Waite wrote of him, "In all positions he proved himself a 
born master of men." A writer in the New England Reviezv said : 
"Few have been more universally esteemed and loved. He lived 
in a critical and eventful time in our existence; and pre-emi- 
nently acted well his part, deserving and receiving the highest hon- 
ors his native state could bestow upon him." 

In personal appearance Governor Griswold was "a very hand- 
some man, with large flashing eyes, a commanding figure, and 
majestic mien — he seemed by outward presence born to rule." 

Of his executive ability it has been said that "the secret of his 
power lay in the wonderful promptness of his mind, which penetrated 
every subject presented to it and saw it clearly in all its connections." 

The following is on the family monument near Black Hall : 

"He was respected in the university as an elegant classical 
scholar. Quick discernment, sound reasoning, legal science, manly 
eloquence, raised him to the first eminence at the bar. Distin- 
guished in the national council among the illustrious statesmen of 
his age — revered for his inflexible integrity and pre-eminent talents, 
his political course was highly honorable .... His fame and honor 
were the first rewards of noble action, and of a life devoted to his 
country. ... His memory is embalmed in the hearts of surviving 
relatives and of a grateful people. When this monument shall have 
decayed his name will be enrolled with honor among the great, the 
wise, and the good." 

141 



'The 
TWENTY-THIRD GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
JOHN COTTON SMITH 

The last governor of the old regime and an embod- 
iment of many of the traits of the early statesmen 
of the republic— He was born in Sharon, the son 
of a clergyman, and reared in the typical New 
England Household where the law of God is 
uppermost — His early education was conducted 
by his mother and after graduation from Yale Col- 
lege he became a brilliant lawyer and statesman 




^^>^ <> . C^'?^^^^^^ 



JOHN 



COTTON 



SMITH 



THE last governor of the old regime was John Cotton Smith. 
It has been said that he exhibited many of the striking 
traits of the founders of this republic. 

He was born in Sharon on February 12, 1765, and was the 
son of a clergyman of considerable power. His mother was the 
daughter of Rev. William Worthington of Saybrook. Governor 
Smith inherited the blood of those famous Massachusetts divines 
— John Cotton and Richard Mather. 

The home where John Cotton was reared was a typical New 
England household where the law of God was uppermost. 

His early education was conducted by his talented mother; 
then he prepared for Yale College under the direction of the 
Reverend Brinsmade of Washington. Entering college in 1779 at 
the age of fourteen, he was graduated with h .lor in 1783. Immedi- 
ately after leaving Yale, Smith entered the office of John Canfield, an 
attorney at Sharon, and commenced the study ot the law. In 1787 

145 



'T' h e Governors of Connecticvt 

he was admitted to the bar of Litchfield County. When the young 
man commenced to practice he found himself in the midst of the 
best legal talent of the state, as the Litchfield County Bar was 
then famous for its brilliant array of able lawyers. 

Success attended his efforts for advancement, and in 1793 he 
was elected a representative from his native town. He also served 
as a member of the House of Representatives from 1796 to 1800. 
In October, 1799, Smith was chosen clerk, and during both sessions 
of the following year he occupied the speaker's chair. 

During his term of service Smith was a strong supporter of the 
old Federal party, and through the stormy period from then to 1818 
he steadfastly opposed the increasing demand for a new constitution. 

Elected as a member of Congress in the fall of 1 800 he repre- 
sented his district in the House of Representatives until 1806. 
While in Congress he was widely known as an accomplished scholar 
and a man of sound judgment. He was often called upon to pre- 
side when such statesmen as Pinckney, John Randolph, Otis, Lee, 
and Griswold were at the height of their fame. Smith resigned his 
seat in Congress in order "that he might the better administer to the 
comfort of an aged father." Returning to Sharon he took charge 
of the ancestral farm, at the same time engaging in literary pursuits, 
which his early training and hereditary tastes made very con- 
genial. His townsmen soon returned him to the Legislature 
where he was made speaker of the House, representing the town in 
146 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

that body until 1809. In that year Smith was chosen judge of 
the Superior Court, and his opinions were, to quote Hollister, 
"among the best in our reports, and are distinguished for their clear- 
ness of thought and finish of diction." 

In 1809 he was elected lieutenant governor of the state, hold- 
ing the office one year and seven months. During a large portion 
of the time that he held this office Governor Griswold was ill and 
unable to attend to the duties of state. The responsibilities of the 
chief executive at a critical juncture, fell upon the shoulders of 
Lieutenant Governor Smith. 

Governor Griswold died in 1812. and the same year John 
Cotton Smith was elected to take his place. He was governor of the 
state for over four years, during a period that the commonwealth was 
convulsed by the strained relations existing between the two dom- 
inant political parties — the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. 
Governor Smith was not in favor of changing the old form of gov- 
ernment for a new one, so when his party was defeated in 1817, 
and Wolcott, the Anti-Federalist champion, elected governor, he 
retired from the political arena. Settling once more on his farm of 
over a thousand acres, at the age of fifty-two years. Governor Smith 
passed the remaining twenty-eight years of his life. 

Many honors came to him in his retirement; Yale College 
conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions elected him its presi- 

147 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

dent, in 1826; he was the first president of the Connecticut Bible 
Society and in 1836 the Royal College of Northern Antiquarians of 
Copenhagen elected him a member of that body. Governor Smith 
was also an active member of both the Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut Historical Societies. 

" Dividing his time," says a writer, " between the scholastic 
studies that had coupled so large a portion of his youth, and the pur- 
suit of agriculture, he lived the life, then almost obsolete, of the 
Connecticut planters of the seventeenth century. His hospitable 
mansion was always thronged with the most refined and cultured 
guests, who, on whatever points they might differ, all agreed that 
their entertainer was an unrivalled gentleman in the highest and 
best sense of the word." 

Governor Smith died in his home in Sharon on December 7, 
1845, at the age of eighty years. 

"His character can be likened to nothing that better illustrates 
it," says a historian, "than the warm smiling Sharon valley on a 
summer's morning, when the grass sparkles with dew and the bright 
lakes gleam in the sunshine." 



148 



TWENTY-FOURTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
OLIVER WOLCOTT 

The third member of that famous family to occupy 
the office, and the first governor of this state under 
the present Constitution — He was born in Litchfield 
and at an early age joined the militia and while 
his father was absent in Congress the coura- 
geous son shouldered the responsibility of obtaining 
fuel and provisions for the family and keeping the 
roads open for transportation of army stores under 
his charge — Young Wolcott left his home with 
three dollars in his pocket and began a career 
which carried him into the president's cabinet 



OLIVER 



W O L C O T T 



THE first governor of this state under the present constitution 
was Oliver Wolcott, the third member of that famous 
family to occupy the office. The political power of the 
Wolcott's was exercised from the early days of the colony far into 
the century just closed. They were men of great mental power, 
excellent executive ability, and it could truthfully be said of them 
as it was of the famous Mather family in Massachusetts, that the 
prominent traits which were pronounced in the father were stronger 
in the son, and yet stronger in the grandson. 

Oliver Wolcott was born in Litchfield on January ii, 1760, 
and was a son of Governor Oliver Wolcott and Loraine Collins of 
Guilford, a sister of General Augustus Collins, a distinguished 
officer in the Revolution. He entered Yale College in 1774, but 
two years later he volunteered in the militia and left his studies. 
Wolcott was in the force that went to Danbury to repel the inva- 
sion of General Tryon, and he took part in a skirmish at Wilton. 
He returned to college and after graduation began the study of law 
at the famous school conducted by Tapping Reeve and Judge 
Gould at Litchfield. During the summer of 1779 he was with his 

151 



T^ h e Governors of Connecticut 



father as aide-de-camp, who was then commanding on the western 
borders of the state. After accompanying his father to the coast he 
accepted a quartermaster's position. This was a period of great 
privation for his family at Litchfield. The elder Wolcott was 
absent in Congress, and on the son's shoulders fell the responsibility 
of obtaining fuel and provisions for the family. He was also 
obliged to keep open the roads for the necessary transportation of 
army stores under his charge. On July 29th General Parsons wrote 
to General Wolcott: "In arranging our line a number of ensigns 
are vacant. If your son is willing to accept one of these vacancies, 
I shall be happy to have it in my power to gratify the inclination of 
the son of so worthy a father. I am determined to have these offi- 
ces filled by young gentlemen of spirit and learning, to make the 
army respectable, or leave them vacant." He declined the offer 
as he was desirous of continuing his legal studies. 

In 1781 Wolcott left his home in Litchfield with three dollars 
in his pocket, and went to Hartford, where he soon afterward 
accepted a clerkship in the office of the commissioner of the pay 
table. The salary connected with this position was fifty cents per 
day specie value. During the year he received the degree of 
Master of Arts from Yale College, his thesis being, "An Agricultura 
in Republica Americana sit magis colenda quam commercium." 
His great diligence in discharging the duties ot the office led the 
General Assembly in 1782, entirely unsolicited, to appoint Wolcott 

152 



'The Governors of Connecticut 

one of the commissioners of the pay table. As junior member of 
the commission he was obhged to make frequent visits to the 
Council of Safety, and receive directions. Through this agency he 
became intimately acquainted with not only the officials of the state,, 
but the workings of the state government. 

In May, 1784, Wolcott received the appointment as commis- 
sioner to adjust the claims for Connecticut against the United 
States. His colleagues in the work were two eminent men, Oliver 
Ellsworth and William Samuel Johnson. During the early part of 
1788 the Board of Pay Table was abolished and in its place was 
created the office of Comptroller of Public Accounts. Wolcott 
was made the first comptroller and held the office until September, 
1789, when the national treasury was established. Honors came 
to him rapidly in these days, for his great ability was being gen- 
erally recognized by the leading statesmen. In 1789 he was 
appointed auditor of the United States Treasury Department, and 
comptroller of the treasury in the spring of 1791. He had been 
previously offered the presidency of the United States bank. 

Alexander Hamilton resigned as secretary of the treasury in 
1795, and in February Wolcott succeeded him. He held the office 
through the remainder of Washington's administration and on the 
accession of President Adams in 1797 he tendered his resigna- 
tion. The president continued him in office until Wolcott 
finally resigned November 8, 1800. Previous to this Wolcott had 

153 



The Governors of Connecticut 

been subjected to slanderous accusations by his political opponents, 
and the Federalist officials were openly accused of having burned 
the treasury building in order to cover up their defalcations, 

Wolcott called for an investigation, but a hostile committee 
appointed by Congress, failing to obtain the slightest evidence, con- 
tinued the malicious stories with the characteristic venom of politi- 
cal antagonists of that day. 

President Adams forthwith appointed Wolcott, under the pro- 
visions of the new judiciary act, judge of the Second Circuit of tKe 
United States, This district embraced the states of Connecticut, 
New York and Vermont, and the United States Senate took every 
precaution to vindicate Wolcott by immediately confirming the 
nomination. 

In 1802 the judiciary act was repealed and Wolcott then 
removed to New York City, where he became a merchant. He 
was very successful, gathered a fortune in a short time, and was first 
president of the bank of North America. 

Soon after the close of the second war with Great Britain, 
Wolcott retired to his former home in Litchfield, where he, in com- 
pany with a brother, founded large woolen factories near Torring- 
ton. The place where the factories were located was named 
Wolcottville and for a long time was the principal village of that 
town, Torrington owes its growth to a great degree to the success 
of these establishments. 

154 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Friends urged Wolcott in 1816 to accept the nomination for 
governor. The Anti-FederaKst, or Democratic, convention con- 
vened at New Haven in January, 1816, and OHver Wolcott was 
placed in nomination for governor, with Jared IngersoU for Heuten- 
ant governor. Opposition newspapers now brought into the cam- 
paign all the rancor which was common in the early part of the last 
century. He was freely accused of arson to cover his peculations 
in the treasury department, and everything possible was done to 
assail his private character. 

Wolcott was defeated and IngersoU elected. This result had 
been anticipated by his friends as "an unfortunate culmination of 
circumstances." The same ticket was nominated the following year 
and both Wolcott and IngersoU were elected by a two-thirds 
majority of the Assembly. 

In 1817 Wolcott took his seat asgovernor of Connecticut, and 
became at once engaged in considering the various issues so long 
fought over by his constituents. His administration was destined 
to be one of reform, and members of the General Assembly of that 
year were elected on that basis. The most important question to 
demand the attention of the Assembly was that of calling a state 
convention to frame a new constitution. This had been the bone 
of contention between the two parties for the past twenty years. 

The convention was called and Governor Wolcott was chosen 
president. He presided over the sessions of the convention with 

155 



The Governors of Connecticut 

dignity and ability, and the original draft ot the constitution is said 
to have been his work. The new constitution was framed and 
adopted ; so that this was probably the most important act of his 
administration. For ten years Governor Wolcott was continued in 
office with no decided opposition. His career as governor sustained 
his great reputation for executive ability which he had gained as a 
member of Washington's cabinet. After retiring from the office of 
governor, Wolcott returned to New York City, where he lived with 
his children for the remainder of his life. 

Governor Wolcott devoted his fortune to fostering agricultural 
pursuits, and developing the great factories he had founded. 
He also paid considerable attention to letters, and he received 
the degree of Doctor of Laws from the corporations of Brown 
University, the College of New Jersey, and Yale College. 

He died at his home in New York, June i, 1833, and the 
death of no public man of the period was mourned more than 
Governor Wolcott. From the fact that he was the last survivor of 
Washington's cabinet, and a conspicuous figure that represented the 
principles of the founders of the republic, Wolcott's death was 
looked upon as a national loss. "His character," said one who knew 
Governor Wolcott intimately, "was strongly marked, strong, inflex- 
ible, and devoted to all that duty, honor and patriotism enjoined ; he 
was in private life of the utmost gentleness, kindness and simplicity. 
With strong original powers, early developed by the stirring events 

156 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

of the Revolutionary days, in which he was born, he had acquired 
a habit of self-reHance which better fitted him for the sort of poHti- 
cal co-operation which results from expediency rather than right." 
Of his personal appearance the same writer says: "In personal 
appearance Oliver Wolcott was of the ordinary size, but as he 
advanced in life he inclined towards corpulency. His head was 
large and countenance strongly delineated and expressive. He pos- 
sessed much dignity of manner; his disposition was sedate but 
cheerful, and with some causticity of humor." 

In his old age Governor Wolcott was honored as being the 
last of a coterie of public men who composed Washington's official 
family. It has been said that the departure of few public men ever 
occasioned so great public sorrow as the death of Governor Wolcott. 
"All felt alike," says a writer, "the irreparable loss, and they 
could not but feel that an important link, in the chain that united 
the present generation with the one of the Father of his Country, 
was broken." 



157 



"The 
TWENTY-FIFTH GOVERNOR 

- of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
GIDEON TOMLINSON 

The grandson of an officer who took part in the 
capture of Ticonderoga, and born in the town of 
Stratford — After graduation from Yale College he 
became a tutor and later studied law, entering 
politics and becoming a prominent agitator in the 
Constitutional controversy, preceding and during 
the State Convention of 1818, and finally becom- 
ing a member of the United States Senate and 
one of the first railroad presidents in this country 




<^^^2^ 



7^ 




GIDEON 



TOMLINSON 



GIDEON Tomlinson was born in the town of Stratford on 
the last day of the year 1780, and was the grandson of 
an officer who took part in the capture of Ticonderoga. 
His father, Jabez H. TomUnson, was a man of importance in the 
community where he had resided all his life. 

After attending the schools of his native town, Tomlinson was 
sent to Huntington, where Rev. David Ely, D.D., prepared him 
for college. Entering Yale in 1798, he was graduated four years 
later in a class which contained several men who were afterwards 
college presidents, a future governor of Connecticut, Rev. David 
Dudley Field, and Rev. Jeremiah Evarts. Immediately after leav- 
ing college, Tomlinson secured employment as a tutor to Alexander 
Upshus of Northampton County, Virginia, who was afterwards 
secretary of the navy. While teaching he studied law, and when 
he returned to Connecticut in 1803, he entered the law office of 
Judge Chauncey at New Haven. 

Tomlinson was admitted to the bar in 1807 and removed to 
that portion of Fairfield called Greenfield Hill, made famous by 
the pastoral labor of Dr. Dwight. 

161 



T" b e Governors of C o 7i n c c t i c u t 

He entered politics and in May, 1817, was elected by the 
Toleration party as a representative to the General Assembly. The 
following October he was chosen clerk of the House and became 
a prominent agitator in the all important discussion over a new 
constitution. 

In May, 1818, Tomlinson was again elected and this time 
chosen speaker of the House. The same year he was a delegate to 
the state convention called for the purpose of framing a new consti- 
tution, and during the session his voice was often heard on the floor 
of the old State House at Hartford. 

With Pierpont Edwards, the leading lawyer of the state, 
Tomlinson was appointed to represent Fairfield County on the 
committee of twenty-four to frame the constitution. 

After two years' service in the state legislature he was elected to 
Congress, and was a member of the House from 1819 to 1827. 
While in Congress Tomlinson had a high reputation and was 
often called upon to preside in the absence of the speaker. 

In 1827, at the age of forty-seven years, he was elected gov- 
ernor ot Connecticut by a good majority. He continued in office 
until 1831, and his record as chief executive of the state was an 
honorable one. In March, 1831, Governor Tomlinson resigned 
in order to accept the position of United States Senator, to which he 
was elected as a successor to Calvin Willey of Tolland. 

Serving one term as senator, Governor Tomlinson maintained 
162 



^ b e Governors of Connecticut 

at all times a high standard of statesmanship, and attracted attention 
in a body which contained at the time some very distinguished men. 
While in the Senate Governor Tomlinson was elected first presi- 
dent of the old Housatonic Railroad Company, and for many 
years he was one of the trustees of the Staples Free Academy. 

Returning to Connecticut he passed the remainder of his life 
in a quiet manner practicing his profession. His later years were 
saddened by the death of a son of great promise. He never 
entered public life again after his retirement from the United States 
Senate. 

Governor Tomlinson died on October 8, 1854, aged seventy- 
four years. 



163 



TWENTY-SIXTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 
JOHN S. PETERS 

The nephew of the originator of the so-called 
Blue Laws of Connecticut and born in Hebron 
where from the age of seven years he worked 
for neighboring farmers and attended the dis- 
trict school during winter— While a country 
school teacher he studied medicine and became a 
successful old school physician, entering poli- 
tics and becoming chief executive of the state 



JOHN 



PETERS 



THE paternal ancestors of Governor Peters were Englishmen 
of note, and the family was distinguished in many ways. 
One member of the family was the famous Hugh Peters, 
who was beheaded, he having been charged with complicity in the 
King's death. An uncle of Governor Peters, Rev. Dr. Samuel A. 
Peters, a native of Hebron, was the inventor of the famous so-called 
"blue laws" of Connecticut. Being a strong sympathizer with 
the Royalist cause during the Revolution, Dr. Peters was obliged 
to flee to England, where he published his unique "History 
of Connecticut," and, according to John Fiske, "took delight 
in horrifying our British cousins with tales of wholesale tarring and 
feathering done by the patriots of the Revolution." 

In the minds of most historians the doctor's history reminds 
one of the late Baron Munchausen. 

John S. Peters was born in Hebron on September 21, 1772, 
being the fifth child of Bemslee Peters, a brother of the Tory cler- 
gyman. The family were so poor that when the future governor had 
reached the age of seven years it became necessary for him to work 
for a neighboring farmer. During the next four years he worked 

167 



1' h e G V e r ti r s of Connecticut 

on the farm in summer and attended the district school during winter. 

When eighteen years of age the young man decided to be a 
school teacher, and accordingly had charge of a district school in 
Hebron for several years. 

While he was teaching he took up the study of medicine, and 
during the summer he was twenty years of age he studied with 
Dr. Benjamin Peters of Marbletown, New York. Succeeding sum- 
mers were also passed in the study of his chosen profession, with 
Dr. Abner Mosely of Glastonbury. Late in the year of 1796 Peters 
went to Philadelphia to complete his medical education. In that 
city he attended the anatomical lectures of Doctors Shippen and 
Wistar, the chemical lectures by the famous Dr. James Wood- 
house, and the medical school of Dr. Rush. Returning to Con- 
necticut in 1797, Dr. Peters looked around for a place to settle and 
commence practice. 

He went up the Connecticut river as far as Canada without 
finding a town in need of a medical practitioner. He returned to 
his home thoroughly disheartened, and exclaimed in a moment of 
abject despair that he had spent twenty-four years of his life and all 
his money without avail. Settling in Hebron for want of a more 
promising place, he was agreeably surprised by finding his services 
in demand within a short space of time. His ability was recog- 
nized from the first, and it was not long before he had all the 
business he could attend to. Dr. Peters was a prominent member 
168 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

of the Tolland County Medical Society, and in 1804 was chosen a 
fellow of the State Medical Society. He was widely known as a 
skilful practitioner of uncommon ability. 

Early in his professional career Dr. Peters remained true to 
the spirit of his ancestors, and took a keen interest in the political 
questions of the day. The citizens of Hebron showed their confi- 
dence in him in various ways, he seldom being defeated for an office. 

For twenty years Dr. Peters was town clerk of Hebron ; he 
was also judge of probate for the district for many years, and 
represented the town in the House of Representatives several 
sessions. 

After serving in the state Senate for a number of years he was 
elected lieutenant governor and held the office from 1827 to 1831. 
When Governor Tomlinson resigned in 1831 Dr. Peters succeeded 
him in office. His party placed him in nomination at the next 
election and he was elected governor by a large majority. He 
occupied the office with satisfaction from 1831 to 1835, when he 
retired from public life. 

With the exception of being a presidential elector. Governor 
Peters never held office after retiring as chief executive of the state. 

He never practiced his profession after becoming governor, and 
spent the remaining years in taking advantage of the competency 
he had acquired. Governor Peters enjoyed almost perfect health 
all his life until within a short time before his death, and he enter- 

169 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

tained quite extensively at his old-fashioned residence in Hebron. 
He died at his home in Hebron on March 30, 1858, aged 85 
years. 

A friend of Governor Peters said of him : "He was a most 
agreeable companion and a warm and true friend. His conver- 
sational powers were superior, and all who have had the pleasure of 
his acquaintance will long remember his lively and keen wit, his 
inexhaustible fund of anecdotes and stories, and his inimitable 
manner of relating them." 



170 



TWENTY-SEVENTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

zvas 

HENRY WAGGAMAN EDWARDS 

The grandson of Jonathan Edwards, one of the most 
subtle reasoners the country has produced-He was 
born m New Haven and graduated at the College of 
New Jersey, later studying law at Litchfield and ris- 
ing rapidly in public estimation-He was elected to 
Congress, elected to the United States Senate and 
served for several terms as governor of the state dur- 
ing the era in which New Haven and Hartford and 
Springfield were connected by railroad, thus provid- 
ing for the commercial development of Connecticut 




^'{fe^^/y /y^ f'4r/i^c^>iy-r/<^ 



HENRY 



WAGGAMAN 



EDWARDS 



HENRY Waggaman Edwards was the grandson of Jonathan 
Edwards, one of the most subtle reasoners the country has 
produced, and the son of Pierrepont Edwards, for many 
years the most distinguished member of the Connecticut bar. 

Pierrepont Edwards had the most lucrative law practice in 
the state, was a member of the Continental Congress, and a man 
of great power. He died in Bridgeport, April 5, 1826. His 
son was born in New Haven in October, 1779, the year that 
General Tryon pillaged the town and spread desolation. 

Henry Waggaman Edwards prepared for college at New 
Haven and entered the College of New Jersey, at Princeton, 
^ where he was graduated in the class of 1797. 

Having decided to adopt his father's profession, Edwards 
entered the famous Litchfield Law School (now the Yale Law 
School), and, after the completion of the course, returned to New 
Haven, where he commenced to practice. In 1819 he was 
elected as a democratic member of Congress and represented the 
district in the House of Representatives until March 3, 1823. 

173 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

At that time Governor Tomlinson appointed him United States 
senator to succeed the Hon. EHjah Boardman. 

This term lasted but a few months, when he was elected for 
a full term. He served in the Senate from December i, 1823, 
to March 4, 1827, when he was elected a member of the State 
Senate, and was a member of that body from 1827 to 1829. In 
1830 Edwards was elected a member of the House of Representa- 
tives from New Haven, and became speaker. His rise in the 
esteem of his party was rapid, and in 1833 he was elected 
governor of the state, holding the office one year. The following 
year he was nominated, but defeated by Samuel A. Foote. 
Governor Edwards was re-elected, however, in 1835, and served 
for the next three terms, retiring in 1838. Governor Edwards' 
administration was known as the "railroad era," as those years saw 
the building of the Hartford and New Haven railroad, the 
Hartford and Springfield, the Housatonic, and the Providence and 
Stonington. While governor, he suggested a geological survey of 
the state, which was done in accordance with his desire. 

Yale College conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws upon 
Governor Edwards in 1833. He had the distinction of being the 
first governor of Connecticut born in New Haven. Governor 
Edwards died at New Haven on July 22, 1847. ^ ^°'^' 
Pierrepont Edwards, was a prominent lawyer, and a judge of the 
New York Supreme Court for seven years. 

174 



"The 
TWENTY- EIGHTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTI CUT 

•was 
SAMUEL AUGUSTUS FOOTE 

Born in Cheshire, and although of delicate health 
entered Yale College at thirteen years of age 
and was graduated with honors— He began the 
study of law as an invalid wearing a bandage 
about his head in the class room, and, finally 
driven out of doors, sailed to the West Indies 
as a supercargo— He later settled on a farm and 
was elected to the United States Senate where 
he provoked the great Webster-Hayne debate 




(^W^/ e/(^^^ 



SAMUEL 



AUGUSTUS 



F O O T E 



THE father of Governor Foote was the Rev. John Foote, a 
native of North Branford, who afterward removed to 
Cheshire and succeeded the Rev. John Hall as pastor of 
the Congregational church in that town. His wife was grand- 
daughter of Governor Jonathan Law. After a life of great useful- 
ness the Rev. John Foote died in Cheshire, August 31, 1831. 

His son, Samuel Augustus Foote, the subject of this sketch, 
was born in Cheshire on November 8, 1780. As a child he was 
precocious to such a degree that he entered Yale College at the age 
of thirteen years. Constitutionally delicate, in his early years the 
boy showed signs of premature decay ; but in the face of all this 
he succeeded in completing his college course, graduating from 
Yale in 1797, before he had reached the age of seventeen. 

He then resided for a few months in Washington, Connecticut, 
reading law in the office of Daniel N. Burnside, Esq. Deciding 
upon law as a profession, he entered the Litchfield Law School for 
a course of study. In his class were Baldwin, Benedict, Day, 
Griffin, Seymour and Sill — all of whom became famous men. 



T" h c Governors of Connecticut 

He remained at Judge Reeve's school probably less than a 
year, for he began to be troubled with severe pains in his head, 
which did not yield to treatment. Invariably the young man 
attended lectures wearing a bandage about his head. As the 
trouble increased Foote was obliged to relinquish his desire to 
become a lawyer, and resolved to follow some business which 
would provide a more active occupation. 

After leaving the law school he went to New Haven and 
engaged in the shipping trade, having an office on Long Wharf. 
It is said that he went to the West Indies three times in the 
capacity of a supercargo. 

When the war with Great Britain commenced in 1812, Foote, 
as well as many other merchants of his class, saw his prosperous 
business entirely wiped out. He took his losses in as good humor 
as possible, and decided to turn his attention to agricultural 
pursuits. 

Going to Cheshire, he settled on a farm and became very 
successful. This occupation gave him ample time and opportunity 
to take an active part in the political discussion of the day. 

He entered into politics to such an extent that it was not long 
before he was known as one of the most zealous anti-Federalists of 
the state. A majority of the people of Cheshire shared his opinion 
and sent him to the Legislature in 1817 and 1818, as their repre- 
sentative. While in the House, Foote exerted great power and 

178 



The Governors of Connecticut 

was easily its leading member. He was next elected a member of 
Congress and represented his district for two years from March, 
1819. Returning to Connecticut, he was again elected a member 
of the Legislature and represented Cheshire in the House for two 
years. In 1823 he was re-elected to Congress and served until 
May, 1825, when he was again chosen by the people of Cheshire 
to represent the town in the General Assembly. That body elected 
him speaker and during the same session he was chosen United 
States senator to succeed Henry W. Edwards. 

His term in the Senate commenced on March 4, 1827, and 
the latter portion of it was made famous by a debate over one of 
his resolutions. 

It was Senator Foote who introduced the resolution in Decem- 
ber, 1829, which provoked the great debate between Senators 
Webster of Massachusetts and Hayne of South Carolina, lasting 
the greater portion of three days. This resolution was for the pur- 
pose of " inquiring into the expediency of limiting the sales of the 
public lands to those already in the market, besides suspending 
the surveys of the public lands and abolishing the office of surveyor- 
general." 

On January 26 and 27, 1830, Daniel Webster delivered his 
famous "Reply to Hayne," which is considered by John Fiske to 
be the "greatest speech that has been delivered since the oration of 
Demosthenes against the crown. " 

179 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Foote was defeated by Nathan Smith for a second term in the 
Senate, but was elected a member of the National House of Rep- 
resentatives in April, 1833. In 1834 he was nominated for 
governor by the Whigs of this state, who were opposed to the 
administration of President Jackson. He obtained a plurality but 
not a majority; so the choice went to the General Assembly. 
That body elected him governor, and he resigned his seat in 
Congress. 

He served as chief magistrate for one year, during an unevent- 
ful period. Yale College conferred upon him, while governor, the 
degree of Doctor of Laws. The next year Governor Foote was 
defeated by Henry W. Edwards, and after that he was never 
actively engaged in politics. 

His domestic and private affairs engrossed his attention the 
remaining years of his life, and he died in Cheshire, September 15, 
1846. "That which specially strikes us," says one writer, "as char- 
acteristic of Governor Foote was his integrity, industry, decision 
and perseverence." His son, Andrew Hull Foote, was a famous 
naval officer, who, on June 16, 1862, received the thanks of Con- 
gress for gallant services in the Civil War and was made a rear- 
admiral. 



i:he 

TWENTY-NINTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
WILLIAM W. ELLSWORTH 

A member of the distinguished Ellsworth family 
of Windsor and born in that town — He was 
graduated at Yale College in the class with 
Morse, the inventor of telegraphy — He studied 
law and married the eldest daughter of Noah 
Webster, later becoming one of the most 
successful practitioners in the state, and 
then a member of the faculty at Trinity 
College, and chosen to many political honors 




>^^^c£^C^^(^^>cc^t:>r^^^^ 



WILLIAM 



W O L C O T T 



ELLSWORTH 



THE Ellsworth family of Windsor was one of the most dis- 
tinguished in Connecticut. Oliver Ellsworth, LL.D., was a 
famous lawyer and statesman, of whom John Adams said : 
" He was the finest pillar of Washington's whole administration." 
He was a member of the Continental Congress, a delegate to the 
Federal Convention of 1787, and in 1796 was appointed chief 
justice of the United States Supreme Court. He died at Wind- 
sor, November 26, 1807. His son, William Wolcott Ellsworth, 
the twin brother of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, was born at Wind- 
sor, November 10, 1791, and entered Yale College in 1806, where 
he graduated with honors in 1810. Among his classmates at Yale 
was Professor S. F. B. Morse, the inventor of telegraphy. 

Immediately after graduation, he entered the Litchfield Law 
School where he pursued his legal studies. Removing to Hart- 
ford, Ellsworth entered the office of Judge Williams, his brother- 
in-law, at that time the most prominent lawyer at the Hartford bar. 
He was a close student and aimed from the first to thoroughly 
master the profession. 

183 



'The Governors of Connecticut 

In 1813 he was admitted to the Hartford bar, and during the 
same year became united in marriage to Emily, the eldest daughter 
of Noah Webster. It was a period when a young lawyer found 
it hard to build up a practice; yet in 1817, four years after being 
admitted to the bar, when Judge Williams was elected to Con- 
gress, Ellsworth was made his partner. The law practice of Judge 
Williams was one of the largest in the state, yet he left it under 
the management of his young partner, then twenty-six years of age. 

He carried on the business of the firm with great success, and 
his fame as a legal authority spread rapidly. In 1827 Ells- 
worth was appointed professor at Trinity College, and he held the 
position until his death in 1868. 

Being the choice of the Whigs in 1829, Ellsworth was 
elected a member of Congress by a good majority and continued 
in that position until 1833, when he resigned at the close of the 
Twenty-third Congress. 

As a member of the judiciary committee, while in Congress, 
he was one of the most active in preparing measures to carry into 
effect Jackson's proclamation against the nullification of South 
Carolina. Ellsworth was also on a committee appointed to 
investigate the affairs of the United States Bank at Philadelphia. 

Returning to Hartford, he resumed his law practice and soon 
regained his extensive business of former days. After considerable 
urging, Ellsworth accepted the nomination for governor of 



T' h e Governors o j Connecticut 

Connecticut and was elected in 1838. He continued in this office 
four years, and during that period he twice refused the offers of an 
election to the United States Senate. 

Retiring from office in 1842, Governor Ellsworth continued 
active practice at the bar until 1847, when he was chosen by the 
General Assembly a judge of the Superior Court, and also one of 
the judges of the Supreme Court of Errors. He continued on the 
bench until compelled to resign in 1861, because he had reached 
the age limit of seventy years. 

Retiring in 1861, Governor Ellsworth enjoyed the next seven 
years in taking a much deserved rest, although he kept up a lively 
interest in public affairs to the last. He was one of the incorpo- 
rators of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, and 
president of the board of directors of the Hartford Retreat for the 
Insane. 

Governor Ellsworth always maintained a great interest in 
church work and was a deacon in a Hartford church for forty-seven 
years. The last years of his life were spent in Hartford, where he 
died on January 15, 1868. At his funeral the Rev. George 
A. Gould delivered an oration, and among other things said: 
" Whether an advocate at the bar, or sitting on the bench of justice, 
or occupying the gubernatorial chair of the state, or serving his 
countrymen in the highest council of the nation, he never forgot 
that, first of all, he was a Christian." Another writer has said : 

185 



T h t' G V e r n r s of Co n n e c t i c 21 t 

" William Wolcott Ellsworth was a Puritan of the very best stock, 
and his honesty in everything was above reproach. In him were 
hereditary qualities of great mental and moral worth. Much like 
his father, the chief justice, he was remarkable for his simplicity of 
tastes and habits. He was dignified in manner; in person tall and 
graceful. In all things he was an admirable representative of New 
England, a man of old-time integrity, sincerity and solidity of 
character." 

Rufus Choate, the great orator and lawyer, speaking before a 
committee of the Massachusetts General Assembly, referred to 
Governor Ellsworth "as a man of hereditary capacity, purity, learn- 
ing and love of law." He added : " If the land of Shermans, 
Griswolds, Daggets and Williams, rich as she is in learning and 
virtue, has a sounder lawyer, a more upright magistrate, or an 
honester man in her public service, I know not his name." 

A writer in describing his personal characteristics said of him : 
" He had a fine personal presence, and as graceful bearing as any man 
of his time. He was an excellent public speaker, having a pleasing 
voice, and his conversation was earnest and sincere. All his inter- 
course was marked by kindness and integrity of nature. The crown 
of his enduring character was his Christian worth and conversation." 



186 



The 
THIRTIETH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

was 
CHAUNCEY F. CLEVELAND 

Born in Canterbury and educated in the dis- 
trict school, he studied law and was admitted 
to the bar at the age of twenty years— He 
became the acknowledged leader of the Demo- 
cratic party in the state and was elected to 
many political honors, taking a prominent 
part in the famous Peace Congress in 1861 



CHAUNCEY 



FITCH 



CLEVELAND 



GOVERNOR Cleveland, according to one writer, "was 
the most popular man in the county (Windham), if not in 
the state; a popularity owing in large measure to a genuine 
good nature, which found pleasure in kindly greetings and the 
interest he took in the welfare of those whom he knew." 

Chauncey Fitch Cleveland was born in Canterbury, February 
16, 1799, and was the son of Silas Cleveland, for many years a 
prominent citizen of that town. He was sent to the district schools 
of the town, where he obtained all the education he ever received. 
Choosing the law as his profession, he commenced its study, and 
was admitted to the Windham county bar in 1819, at the age of 
twenty years. As a young lawyer, he was unusually successful. 
He had gained sufficient prominence in 1833 to be appointed 
state's attorney for his county, and this office he held for five 
years. 

During the years 1826, 1827, 1829, 1832, 1835, 1836, 1838, 
1847 ^"*^ 1848, he was a representative in the General Assembly 
from the town of Hampton. Three of those years — 1832, 1835 

189 



T' h e Governor s o f C o u n c c t i c ii t 

and 1836 — Cleveland was honored by being chosen speaker of the 
House, a position he upheld with dignity and ability. 

For a number of years Cleveland had been the acknowl- 
edged leader of the democracy of the state, and in 1842 the party 
managers decided to place him in nomination for governor. 

He was elected by a good majority and his term of office was 
so successful that he was renominated and elected for the second 
time. Retiring from the gubernatorial chair in 1844, Governor 
Cleveland returned to his legal practice, but did not relinquish his 
interest in politics. In 1849 ^^ ^^^ elected to represent his district 
in Congress, which he did for the next four years with ability and 
distinction. 

Governor Cleveland was a man of strong character. This was 
abundantly demonstrated in i860, when, after being a strong 
Democrat for sixty years, and realizing there was danger of the 
government being disrupted, he openly declared himself an unflinch- 
ing supporter of the Union. Deliberately severing party ties, 
Governor Cleveland did everything in his power to support the 
government, worked for Lincoln's election, and was a presidential 
elector on the Republican ticket. He was also a member of the 
Peace Congress in 1861 and took a prominent part in the proceed- 
ings of that famous body. 

Governor Cleveland was made Doctor of Laws by Trinity 
College, and never entered public life to any extent afterwards, but 
190 



The Governors of Connecticut 

practiced his profession in the town of Hampton. Throughout the 
remaining years of his Hfe he was the recipient of many honors. 
He died in Hampton on June 6, 1887. 

The ** Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut" has this to 
say ot Governor Cleveland: "It was mainly as a public man that 
he was known beyond his own county, and his tastes and ambitions 
lay far more in the direction of political than of professional life. 
He was a man of commanding appearance, yet of gentle and 
courteous manners." 

A son. John J., gave promise of unusual ability when very 
young. He was graduated at Washington (now Trinity) College, 
studied law. was a clerk of the Federal Courts of the state, attained 
prominence at the bar, but died at the age of twenty-eight years. 

A nephew of Governor Cleveland, the Hon. Edward Spicer 
Cleveland, son of the Hon. Mason Cleveland, was the unsuccessful 
democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut in 1886. He 
was a state senator several times, and was one of the lirst citizens 
of the state. 



191 



"The 
THIRTY-FIRST GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

IV as 
ROGER SHERMAN BALDWIN 

Born in New Haven, fourth in descent from a 
Puritan founder of the town, and grandson of 
Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence— He was distinguished for his 
scholarship and graduated from Yale College 
with high honors— After graduation from the 
Litchfield Law School he became counsel in many 
famous cases and a colleague of Seward, Webster, 
Clay and Calhoun in the United States Senate 





^ (:y^<:^-^ty^>t^-(^J^ 



ROGER 



SHERMAN 



BALDWIN 



ROGER Sherman Baldwin, one ot the most talented men 
Connecticut has ever produced, was born in New Haven 
on January 4, 1793. His father, Simeon Baldwin, 
was third in line of descent from John Baldwin, one of those Puri- 
tans whose names are associated with Davenport, Whitfield and 
Prudden, the founders of New Haven, Milford and Guilford. His 
mother was the daughter of Roger Sherman, a signer of the Decla- 
ration of Independence, a member of the Constitutional Convention 
of 1787, and a United States senator. On both sides he was 
descended from the very best New England stock. 

In his youth the future governor was distinguished for his 
accurate scholarship, having read large portions of Virgil before 
reaching the age often. 

He entered Yale College in 1807, before he was fourteen years 
of age, and paid particular attention to rhetoric and elocution. 
Graduating with high honors in 1811, he was chosen to deliver an 
oration, and he selected for his subject, "The Genius of a Free 
Government." 

195 



The Governors of Connecticut 

He commenced the study of law in the office of Seth B. Staples, 
Esq., but after a year spent in this manner he entered the Litch- 
field Law School. In that famous institution, where there was at 
the time several young men of superior ability, Baldwin held 
a high place, and one of his fellow students, writing to the 
governor in after years, said: "I think of you still as the head of 
the Litchfield Law School." Judge Gould, one of those who con- 
ducted the institution, wrote : " No student from our office ever 
passed a better examination." Baldwin was admitted to the 
bar in New Haven in 1814, and at that time "he had developed a 
mastery of the principles of the law that was considered very remark- 
able in so young a man." iHis great learning, superior knowl- 
edge of the law, and elegant diction soon gained for him the promi- 
nence he deserved. Rising rapidly in the profession, he attained rare 
distinction at the bar and enjoyed a large practice. He was chosen 
a member of the Common Council of New Haven in 1826, and in 
1829 an alderman. In 1837 he was elected a member of the State 
Senate, where he became an exponent of the Whig party, then 
ascending into power. It is said by one writer that his great 
regard for the party extended no further tlian his regard for its 
principles. 

Baldwin always had a great regard for the welrare of the 
colored population, and one of the earliest incidents of his lite was 
his rescuing a slave belonging to Henry Clay. 
196 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

One of the most famous cases in which Baldwin took part 
was in 1839, when he defended the " Amistad Captives." The 
Spanish vessel " Amistad " was brought into New London harbor 
in 1839 by a revenue cutter, having been found drifting along the 
coast of Long Island, in the possession of a number of Africans. 
A Spaniard on shipboard said that he with a companion had under- 
taken to transport a cargo of slaves, recently imported from Africa, 
from one Cuban harbor to another. In the dead of night, he said, 
the slaves rose in mutiny, slaughtered his comrade, and spared his 
lite in order that he might navigate the boat. The slaves were 
taken ashore and cared for, but the Spanish minister immediately 
made a demand upon our government for restoration of the ship and 
cargo. 

The first court of inquiry by the Federal authorities was held 
on the "Amistad " in New London harbor. Later the negroes were 
taken to New Haven and up the canal to Farmington and then to 
Hartford. 

President Van Buren hastened to comply with the request and 
the case was brought to trial at once. Baldwin became strongly 
interested in the case and became counsel for the negroes. He 
carried it through the district and circuit courts of Connecticut, 
against great odds, up to the Supreme Court of the United States. 
In that court Baldwin had associated with him the venerable 
ex-President John Quincy Adams. 

197 



"The G V e r II a r s o f C o n n c c t i r u t 

The former's plea for the captives before that body was so pro- 
found that it led Chancellor Kent to rate Baldwin " with the lead- 
ing jurists of the day." He had the great satisfaction of securing a 
verdict for the negroes, and they were returned to their native land. 

In 1844 Baldwin was elected governor of Connecticut, and 
again in 1845, serving as chief magistrate with great distinction. 

Governor Baldwin was appointed United States senator in 1847 
to fill the unexpired term made vacant by the death of Jabez W. 
Huntington of Norwich. After taking his seat in that body 
Baldwin became generally recognized as one of its leading members. 
At the time there were in the Senate some of the ablest men who 
ever sat within its walls. Among them were Webster, Seward, 
Clay, Benton and Calhoun. He ranged himself beside Seward and 
Chase in the arguments over the annexation of Texas. It is said 
that Governor Baldwin's speech against the Fugitive Slave Law 
was generally conceded to be the ablest argument in opposition to 
the measure delivered in the Senate. 

In the annals of the Senate, Baldwin's reply to Senator 
Mason of Virginia, who had cast some aspersions on the policy of 
Connecticut, "is memorable not less tor its admirable spirit than for 
its use of his extensive historical knowledge as a superior specimen 
of parliamentary retort." 

The Democratic party was in power in 1851, when his term 
expired, and he was not re-elected to the Senate. Returning to 
198 



The Go v e r n o r s of Connecticut 

his law practice in New Haven, his services were in great demand, 
especially in the United States courts. 

Governor Baldwin was strongly urged to accept a position on the 
bench and a seat in Congress, but he refused both, choosing rather 
to practice the profession in which he had become so prominent. 
Governor Baldwin was a supporter of President Lincoln, and one of 
the five members of the Peace Congress, appointed by Governor 
Buckingham in 1861. This was about the last public service Bald- 
win performed, for early in 1863 he began to suffer with a nervous 
disorder which caused his death on February 19th of that year. 

At his funeral an eloquent address was delivered by his pastor, 
Rev. Samuel W. S. Button, D. D., which has been published. A 
writer in the "Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut" pays this 
lofty tribute to Governor Baldwin : " Probably no lawyer ever 
attained in Connecticut a higher rank at the bar than that which was 
generally conceded to Governor Baldwin by his professional breth- 
ren. He possessed every one of the characteristics and faculties 
of a great lawyer. In any forum Governor Baldwin would have 
been regarded, not merely as a skillful practitioner, but as a man 
entitled to rank among the great lawyers of his day. He possessed 
a comprehensive and thorough acquaintance with the science of his 
profession. He understood it in its great doctrines and in its 
details. In guarding the interest of his clients his watchfulness was 
incessant. No circumstance which might affect those interests favor- 

199 



T h 



G 



e r n r 



of 



C n n e c t i c II t 



ably or unfavorably, escaped his notice or failed to receive his full 
attention. His discourse, whether addressed to the court or jury, 
vi^as marked by uniform purity and transparency of style. His 
English was superb. He was always able to say without embar- 
rassment or hesitation precisely what he wished to say, guarding 
with proper qualifications, exceptions and limitations, when 
necessary, every sentence and phrase, so that his idea, when 
expressed, stood forth sharply defined, exactly in the form in which 
he wished it to appear." 

In an address delivered by the Hon. Henry B. Harrison of 
New Haven, he referred to Governor Baldwin in the following 
language : " It has been well said that Governor Baldwin was a 
great lawyer. He was an upright, a just, a conscientious, an honor- 
able man. Governor Baldwin was a true son of Connecticut. His 
memory deserves all honors from Connecticut, and from every one 
of her children." 

Governor Baldwin's son, Simeon Eben Baldwin, born in 1 840, 
is one of the most distinguished lawyers of Connecticut, and of the 
United States. He has been a prominent railroad attorney, presi- 
dent of the American Bar Association, and Harvard has made him 
a Doctor of Laws. He is now serving his second term as an 
associate judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, and is a historical 
writer of extensive knowledge and great power. 



The 
THIRTY-SECOND GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zcas 
ISAAC TOUCEY 

Born in Newtown, he attended the public school and 
studied in a lawj^er's office— Without a college 
or professional school education he became a dis- 
tinguished member of the bar and was appointed 
by President Polk as attorney-general of the 
United States, also serving as acting secretary of 
state — He was a member of the cabinet of Presi- 
dent Buchanan, as secretary of the navy, and 
the recipient of many other political trusts 




^^ 



i,Ja-4:i.'C^ 




ISAAC 



T O U C E Y 



ISAAC Toucey was born in Newtown on November 5, 1 796, and 
was a descendant of Rev. Thomas Toucey, the first Congre- 
gational minister of the town. He received a good education, 
but never attended college, as he commenced studying law with the 
Hon. Asa Chapman of Newtown, who was afterwards judge of the 
Supreme Court of Errors. 

In 1818, at the age of twenty-two years, Toucey was admitted 
to the bar in Hartford, and began practice in that city. Possessing 
an unusual knowledge of the law for so young a man and being 
untiring for his clients' interests, Toucey soon gained prominence 
and secured a large and lucrative practice. Four years after being 
admitted to the bar he was chosen state's attorney for Hartford 
county, which office he held for the next thirteen years. 

In 1835 Toucey became the choice of his party for repre- 
sentative in Congress, and was elected to that position during 
the year. Toucey remained in Congress four years, retiring in 
1839, with an honorable record of service. He was elected 
governor of Connecticut in 1846, and remained in office one 
year. At this time Governor Toucey was considered to be one 

203 



T b e Governors of Connecticut 

of the ablest lawyers in Connecticut and his fame reached far 
outside of the state. 

President Polk appointed Governor Toucey attorney-general 
of the United States, and he served as such from June 21, 1848, 
to March 3, 1849. During a portion of this period Toucey 
was acting secretary of state. After retiring from the office of 
attorney-general Toucey returned to Connecticut and was 
elected a member of the United States Senate, and held the office 
during the full term of six years. 

When James Buchanan was inaugurated president on March 
4, 1847, Isaac Toucey was named as secretary of the navy to suc- 
ceed the Hon. James C. Dobbins of North Carolina. Commenc- 
ing his duties as the head of the navy department March 6, 1857, 
Toucey served throughout the administration, retiring from office 
March 3, 1861. 

" Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography " says of 
Governor Toucey : " He was charged with favoring the course of 
the seceding states while secretary of the navy by deliberately send- 
ing some of the best vessels of the navy to distant seas to prevent 
their being used against the Confederation. This was denied, but 
he was generally thought to sympathize with the South and to be 
opposed to the prosecution of the war." 

Governor Toucey returned to this state and resumed thej 
practice of his profession, to which he was intensely devoted. 

204 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

several offices were offered to him at this period ; among these was 
a place on the bench of the United States Supreme Court. 

Living at Hartford the remaining years of his life, he was the 
recipient of many honors at the hands of his fellow townsmen. He 
died on July 30, 1869, aged 73 years. 

Of his professional ability the "Judicial and Civil History of 
Connecticut " says : " He justly ranked among the ablest lawyers 
in the state. He was a very accurate lawyer, learned and exact 
in pleading, and clear and orderly in the presentation of his case." 

The same article continues, in referring to his personal char- 
acteristics : " He was tall in person, and though of slender figure 
he had fine features and a commanding presence. He spoke slowly, 
but with great precision. His diction was strong and clear, but 
without a particle of ornament. His private character was without 
a stain. He was a consistent and devout member of the Episcopal 
church. In his convictions he was firm, and held to them with a 
strength and tenacity of will that were never surpassed. His self- 
possession never forsook him, and on all occasions he exhibited the 
bearing of a high-toned gentleman." 



205 



THIRTY-THIRD GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 
CLARK BISSELL 

The son of a poor farmer in Lebanon, he worked 
for the neighboring farmers and devoted 
his spare time to study — With a homespun 
suit of clothes, dyed with butternut, and made 
by his mother from the fleece, he entered Yale 
College and worked his way through — After 
graduation he taught school and studied law, 
being elected to the State Senate, then to the 
governorship and devoting the last years of his 
life to a professorship in the Yale Law School 



CLARK 



B I S S E L L 



CLARK Bissell was descended from John Bissell of England, 
who emigrated to Plymouth in 1626 and afterwards settled 
in Windsor. There is a tradition that the family were 
Huguenots who fled from France about the time of the massacres of 
St. Bartholomew in 1572, and established their residence in Somer- 
setshire, England. 

Born in Lebanon, September 7, 1782, Clark Bissell was the 
son of a very poor man who found it hard to make both ends 
meet. As a boy Bissell had no more advantages for learning than 
was furnished by the district schools of one hundred years ago. 
He worked hard for the farmers in the neighborhood, and what 
little money he earned was used to help support the family. Dur- 
ing the intervals when he could spare the time, the boy was devoted 
to study. His young companions would always find him poring 
over the pages of his Latin or Greek grammar, when he had an 
opportunity. Later a clergyman of the town offered to prepare 
him for college. He entered Yale College in 1802, and it is said 
that the day he left Lebanon for New Haven, Bissell had only the 
blessings of his parents and a homespun suit of clothes, dyed with 

209 



I" h e Governors of Connecticvt 

butternut, and made from the fleece by his mother's hands, to take 
with him. He supported himself while in college by teaching in 
the schools of New Haven. 

It is doubtful if a poorer young man ever pursued the course 
at Yale. He had for classmates such men as T. H. Gallaudet, 
Jabez W. Huntington, John C. Calhoun and Dr. William Tully, 

Bissell was graduated in 1806 and in the autumn of that 
year he taught in a private family in Maryland. Returning to 
Connecticut, Bissell taught school for a year at Saugatuck (now 
Westport), at the same time studying law with the Hon. S. B. 
Sherwood. When he had succeeded in paying up the debt of 
$400 he incurred during his college course, he went to New 
Haven and entered the law office of the Hon. Roger M. Sherman. 

He was admitted to the bar in 1809 and at once removed to 
Norwalk, where he commenced to practice law. During his 
early years in Norwalk Bissell boarded in the family of Dr. 
Jonathan Knight, father of Professor Knight of Yale College. 
Concerning his advent into a conservative old town, Dr. Knight 
wrote to a friend : " Mr. Bissell, who was lately licensed as an 
attorney, came to town yesterday and lives with me. He has the 
character of a reputable young man. R. M. Sherman, Esq., with 
whom he has studied, has given him letters of recommendation 
to the civil authorities of the town." By unwearied industry and 
close application to his clients' interests Bissell soon built up a 




tf?'^. ^^^^^J-T^^-n^^^c-c^!^^ 



JOSEPH 



TRUMBULL 



JOSEPH Trumbull was a nephew of the first Jonathan 
Trumbull, and was born in Lebanon, December 7, 1782. 
His father was David Trumbull, a prominent resident of 
the town. He entered Yale College in 1797 and was graduated 
in the class of 1801. Immediately after graduation Trumbull 
commenced the study of law with William T. Williams of Leb- 
anon, and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1802, and soon after in 
Windham County. 

The next year Trumbull removed to his native state and 
settled in Hartford, where he spent the remainder of his life. He 
grew rapidly in the public estimation and in 1832 was elected a 
member of the General Assembly from the town of Hartford. He 
was re-elected in 1848 and 1851. 

Trumbull was selected to fill an unexpired term in Congress, 
and he served in that body during the sessions of 1834 and 1835. 
He was also a representative in Congress from March, 1839, to 
March, 1843, ^^^ ^^^ record was an honorable one. For years 
Trumbull had been the recognized leader of the Whig party 
and was elected governor in 1849. ^^^ administration of one 
year was uneventful, yet Governor Trumbull by all his acts sus- 
tained the high standard of his famous family. 

215 



'^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

Besides tending to the duties of his profession, Governor 
Trumbull gave much attention to various business enterprises. In 
June, 1828, he was elected president of the Hartford Bank, and 
remained in that position until November, 1839. He was also 
one of the earliest and most zealous supporters of the Hartford and 
Providence railroad. Governor Trumbull was the senior director 
of the Retreat for the Insane, and also an original incorporator of 
the American School for the Deaf and Dumb and the Hartford 
Orphan Asylum. His name was intimately associated with the 
growth of Hartford. He died at Hartford on August 4, 1861. 

A biographical writer says of Governor Trumbull : " During 
his life he manifested a deep interest in the welfare of the commu- 
nity where he resided, being an active and leading member of its 
various charitable and other institutions." 

His career was summed up in a newspaper published at the 
time of his death, as follows : " Connecticut had no better man, 
one of higher intelligence, strong and comprehensive views, and 
capacity as a statesman. With the best interest of Hartford his 
name was identified ; and in private life his generosity, his social 
virtues, and pure character made his good repute among his 
neighbors equal to his fame abroad. For so great a man, and so 
good, eulogy is not necessary. With the prosperity of Hartford 
his name is intimately associated." 



216 



THIRTY-FIFTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

THOMAS HART SEYMOUR 

Born in Hartford, he received his early educa- 
tion in its public schools and at a military insti- 
tute in Middletown — He studied law, became 
an editor, then a congressman, and led a reg- 
iment in the Mexican War, participating in 
the capture of the City of Mexico — Returning 
home, he was elected governor and later 
appointed United States minister to Russia by 
President Pierce — At a democratic national con- 
vention his name was presented as a candidate 
for nomination as President of the United States 




ci^^^^^^-c.^^:;^^ 



THOMAS 

HART 

SEYMOUR 



THOMAS Hart Seymour was descended from a cele- 
brated English family who settled in that country as 
early as the thirteenth century. He was born in Hartford, 
September 29, 1807, and when very young displayed those traits 
which made him a leader of men afterwards. His early education 
was obtained in the public schools of Hartford, and as he showed 
a predilection for a military life he was sent to Captain Alden 
Partridge's institute in Middletown. He pursued the course at 
this military school and was graduated in 1829. Returning to 
Hartford, Seymour was chosen as the commanding officer of the 
Light Guard of the city. He then studied law and was admitted 
to the bar in 1833, but before he gained much of a practice his 
love for politics changed his course in life. Becoming editor of 
" The Jeffersonian," a leading democratic organ, he threw himself 
into the political discussion of the day. Seymour possessed a 
very attractive manner and a pleasing address, so that he was one 
of the most popular men of his time. He was elected judge of 
probate of the district, and soon occupied a position in the front 
ranks of the Hartford democracy, as their acknowledged leader. 

219 



•The Governors of Connecticut 

In 1843 Seymour was elected a member of Congress, and 
when his term had expired he refused a renomination. He was 
commissioned in March, 1846, major of the Ninth or New Eng- 
land regiment of volunteers which took part in the Mexican war. 
Going to the front with his regiment, he served with such distinc- 
tion that on October 13th, 1847, Major Seymour attained high 
military honors. The capture of Melino opened the way to 
Chapultepec, the Gibraltar of Mexico, which was the key to the 
City of Mexico. As it was built on a rock 150 feet high, impreg- 
nable on the north and well-nigh so on the eastern and most of the 
southern face, only the western and a portion of the southern sides 
could be scaled. The commanders decided, after a council of war, 
that it must be taken. 

Two picked American detachments, one from the west and 
one from the south, pushed up the rugged steeps in face ot an 
awful fire. The walls at the base of the castle fortress had to be 
mounted by means of ladders. One of these detachments was 
commanded by Colonel Ransom, but as that officer fell early in 
the assault. Major Seymour led the troops, scaled the heights, and 
with his command was the first to enter the fortress. The enemy 
was driven back into the city, and Seymour was placed in com- 
mand of the regiment. He afterwards took part in the capture of 
the City of Mexico, and was present when it was fully in the 
hands of General Scott. When the war was over Seymour returned 



1^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

to Hartford and received the nomination for governor in 1849, but 
although there were Democratic gains over the preceding year he 
was not elected. The following year, however, he was elected 
governor of Connecticut by a large majority. Governor Seymour 
was re-elected in the years 1851, 1852 and 1853, serving with dis- 
tinction. He also served as a presidential elector in 1852. 

In April, 1853, President Pierce appointed Governor Sey- 
mour United States minister to Russia, and he immediately 
resigned his position as governor. 

He represented this country at the Russian court for four 
years, and during his residence there Governor Seymour formed a 
warm and lasting friendship for both the Czar Nicholas and his son. 

From them he received many costly tributes of their regard 
for him. After retiring from the position in 1857, Governor Sey- 
mour spent a year in traveling on the continent, returning to the 
United States in 1858. 

Governor Seymour was bred as a Democrat and always 
upheld the principles of the party with true Jeffersonian tenacity. 
During the dark days of i860 and 1861 he clung to the policy of 
the Democratic party. When the Southern states withdrew from 
the Union, and the Civil War was precipitated. Governor Sey- 
mour's sympathies were with the South. He was opposed to the 
prosecution of the war until its close, and became leader of the 
Connecticut Peace Democracy. 

221 



'The Governors of Connecticut 

On account of his pronounced opposition to the Union cause, 
the Senate of this state, in 1862, voted "that the portrait of Gov- 
ernor Seymour," with that of Isaac Toucey, should be removed from 
the chamber till the comptroller should be satisfied of his loyalty to 
the Federal government. These portraits were taken to a place of 
safe keeping, and it is said that only one man in the city of Hart- 
ford knew where they were secreted. 

In the Democratic party, however. Governor Seymour 
t^ (retained his old-time popularity and in 1863 he was again nomi- 
nated for governor. Those were not the days for Democratic 
successes in Connecticut, and the contest which followed has prob- 
ably not been equalled in this state. 

After a most exciting canvass Seymour was defeated by 
William A. Buckingham of Norwich. At the Democratic National 
Convention, which met in Chicago on August 29, 1864, Governor 
Seymour received thirty-eight votes on the first ballot for president 
of the United States. He passed the remaining years of his life at 
Hartford, where he died on September 3, 1868. 



The 
THIRTY-SIXTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

ivas 
CHARLES HOBBY POND 

The son of a sea captain at Milford, he was grad- 
uated from Yale College, became a member of 
the bar, and then followed the sea for several 
years, shipping as supercargo and finally as cap- 
tain — Resuming his residence on land, he became 
identified with the prominent political leaders of 
the day and was elected lieutenant governor of the 
state, advancing to the governorship to complete 
an unexpired term and then retiring to private life 



CHARLES 



HOBBY 



POND 



BORN in Milfbrd on April 26, 1781, Charles Hobby Pond 
was the son of Captain and Martha (Miles) Pond. As a 
boy he was of large physical proportion, possessing a mind 
of a good order, and gave every promise of a useful career. He 
decided to attend Yale College and was prepared by his pastor, 
Reverend Pinneo, and Rev. Azel Backus, afterwards president of 
Hamilton College. Entering college at the age of seventeen. Pond 
was distinguished among his fellows for his unusual muscular 
strength, and an inexhaustible vein of wit. He was a good scholar 
and while in college became the associate of several young men 
who later attained fame both of a local and a national character. 

Graduating in 1802, Pond decided to become a lawyer, and 
under the guidance of the Hon. Roger Minot Sherman, of Fair- 
field, he prosecuted his legal studies for two years. He was after- 
wards admitted to the bar in Fairfield County, although he never 
practiced. This was probably due to a sudden failure of health, 
and a long sea voyage was decided upon as being beneficial. 

A lengthy trip suited him so well that he took another, and 
the result was he followed the sea for several years, shipping first 

225 



'T' b e Governors of Connecticut 

as a supercargo, then as captain. After having regained his former 
health he took up his residence on land again, and in 1819 was 
appointed a judge of the court of New Haven County. In 1820 
he was elected sheriff of the same county and held the office for 
fifteen years. During the years of 1836 and 1837, Pond 
was an associate judge of the New Haven County Court. Becom- 
ing prominently identified with the political leaders of the day, he 
was elected lieutenant governor of Connecticut in 1 850. The 
following year Pond was re-elected to the same office, and as 
Governor Seymour resigned during the year to become minister to 
Russia, he succeeded the latter as governor of Connecticut. 

He held the office nearly a year and after his retirement never 
entered public life again. The remainder of his life was spent in 
retirement, and he died April 28, 1861, the month that witnessed 
the bombardment of Fort Sumter. 

A prominent man who knew Governor Pond intimately said : 
" He was a man more deeply versed in the political history of the 
country than any other within the circle of his acquaintance. His 
talents were of the very first order, and his pen — whenever he 
wielded it — was marked by the reflection of a powerful mind, and 
the purest patriotism. No man was wiser in council — none more 
devoted to the true and lasting interests of his country. His intel- 
lectual strength, his genial and generous heart, his true and steady 
friendship, and ready wit, made him the favorite of every circle, 
whether old or young." 
226 



The 
THIRTY-SEVENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
HENRY DUTTON 

Born on a farm in Watertown, he assisted his father 
in supporting the family and attended the vil- 
lage school at intervals — At sixteen years of age 
he began a more liberal education and taught 
the district school, later graduating from Yale 
College with the highest honors — Studying law, 
he received an appointment as Kent professor at 
Yale, and during the practice of law in Bridgeport 
many political positions were extended him and 
for several years he was a member of the judiciary 




//. 




^.z^^Z^^-^r-?'^--' 



HENRY 



BUTTON 



GOVERNOR Button was a jurist who had very few 
equals in his day, and his fame as an able lawyer does not 
diminish by time. 

Henry Button was born in Watertown, Litchfield County, on 
February 12, 1796, and was a direct descendant from John Pun- 
derson, one of the " seven pillars " of the First Church at New 
Haven. His grandfather, Beacon Thomas Button, was engaged 
in the Revolutionary War, and reached the rank of captain. 

Born on a hilly country farm, where his father had a hard 
time obtaining a living, the young man was obliged to labor until 
sixteen years of age, assisting his father to support the family. He 
attended a district school at intervals during this period, and early 
in life displayed a great yearning for reading and study. These 
favorable propensities were encouraged in a degree by his father, a 
man of good mind; yet it was not thought possible for the young 
man to prosecute his studies outside of the town where he was 
born. Button was finally, induced to attempt the difficult task of 
obtaining a liberal education without pecuniary means, by the 
thoughtful advice of a kinsman. This man was the Rev. Aaron 

2.-9 



'T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Dutton, a scholar of great ability, and the pastor for a quarter of a 
century of the Congregational Church in Guilford. Possessed with 
superb intellectual endowments, the country pastor's influence at 
this period probably shaped the future governor's course in life. 
During the next four years Dutton taught the village school, 
studied, worked on the neighboring farms, and in this manner 
prepared himself for admittance to Yale College. 

Entering Yale in 1814, he found himself in the midst of a 
number of intellectual "giants," as Dr. Steiner aptly remarked. 
Graduating in 1818 with the highest honors the college could 
bestow, Dutton carried with him a large debt incurred during 
his course. He immediately commenced the study of law with 
Hon. Roger M. Sherman in Fairfield. " By him," says his biog- 
rapher, •' Dutton was carried back to the foundations of juris- 
prudence and taught to regard Coke upon Littleton as a text-book, 
and to read Feme on Contingent Remainders by way of amend- 
ment." While pursuing his studies he also taught the village 
academy for several years. 

From 1821 to 1823 he was a tutor in Yale College, and in the 
latter year began the practice of his profession in Newtown. As his 
practice did not yield him a sufficient income, Dutton took a number 
of young men who were " on leave of absence" from Yale College 
into his family to tutor. He continued as a lawyer in Newtown 
for fourteen years, during which time he obtained a good practice. 
230 



''The Governors of Connecticut 

In 1837 Button removed to Bridgeport, a larger field, and 
commenting on his career in that city a writer says : "His life 
in the latter place was one of great professional activity, as will 
be seen by a reference to the Connecticut reports. The purity of 
his private life, the eminence of his legal acquirements, and his 
professional successes gave him a deep hold on the confidence of 
the community, and he was, in consequence, made a recipient of 
many public offices." 

In 1847 Dutton received an appointment as Kent professor of 
Law in Yale College. He held the office of state's attorney for Fair- 
field County, and was also judge of the County Court for one year. 

Five times he was a member of the General Assembly; twice 
each from Newtown and Bridgeport, and once from New Haven. 
He was also for one session, in 1849, "^ member of the State Senate, 

Dutton was now one of the leading lawyers of the state and 
retained in all the important cases in Fairfield County. 

In 1847 Dutton was appointed with L. P. Waldo and F. 
Fellowes to revise the Connecticut statutes, and, in the following 
year, in collaboration with N. A. Cowdrey, he published a Revis- 
ion of Swift's Digest. 

According to one eminent authority, to Dutton's " practical 
sagacity while a member of the Legislature is largely due that 
fundamental change in our law of evidence permitting parties in 
interest to testify." 

231 



'T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

His father was a true JefFersonian Democrat, and he had 
always been a Whig, while his other relatives were members of the 
old Federal party. 

In 1854 Button was nominated for governor of the state, but 
at the spring election no choice was made, so the matter went to 
the General Assembly. Dutton was promptly elected governor and 
served for one year. His administration was one of importance. 

Retiring from the chief magistracy in 1855, Governor Dutton 
resumed his law practice. He was chairman of a new commission 
to make a revision of the statutes, and " advocated the law allowing 
the prisoner's counsel the right of a closing argument before the 
jury; introduced in the Legislature the bill giving the superior 
court sole jurisdiction in divorce cases, and aided in the passage of 
bills to secure more effectually the rights of married women." 

When Judge Ellsworth retired from the bench of the Supreme 
Court of Errors in 1861, Governor Dutton was appointed to suc- 
ceed him. This distinguished position he filled with great ability 
until he reached the age of seventy, when he resigned, and devoted 
the remaining years of his life to his work in the Yale Law School. 
He also engaged in general practice to a limited extent until a 
short time before his death, which occurred at his home in New 
Haven on April 28, 1869. 

Governor Dutton's professional ability is summed up in an 
able manner in "The Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut," 

232 



The G V e r ii o r s o f C o n n c c t i c ii t 

as follows: "As an advocate he possessed great power, not only 
in presenting questions of fact to the jury, but also in the dis- 
cussion of purely legal questions before the court. His mind was 
eminently a practical one. Trained by a large and varied experi- 
ence in the ordinary affairs of life, it discarded many theories, and 
yet was ready to accept any innovations upon established usage 
that approved themselves to his common sense." 



233 



"The 
THIRTY-EIGHTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
WILLIAM THOMAS MINOR 

Born in Stamford, he was graduated from 
Yale College and studied law in his father's 
office — Through a legal career he entered politics 
and became the choice of the Know-Nothing 
party for the governorship — During the Civil 
War days he was an outspoken adherent of the 
Union cause and was appointed by President 
Lincoln as consul-general to Havana, Cuba, 
where he gained disticction as a diplomat 



WILLIAM 



THOMAS 



MINOR 



WILLIAM Thomas Minor, one of the prominent lawyers 
of his time, was born in Stamford on October 3, 1815. 
He was the son of Judge Simeon H. Minor, descendant 
of Thomas Minor, of Pequot, Stonington, 1646, a leading practi- 
tioner for many years in Fairfield County. 

Minor entered Yale College in 1830 at the age of fifteen and 
was graduated in the class of 1834. Returning to Stamford, he 
taught school for several years in an institution which he conducted, 
at the same time pursuing the study of law in his father's office. 
He was admitted to the bar of Fairfield County in 1841 and com- 
menced his professional career at once in his native town. 

Becoming prominent as a lawyer and citizen, he was 
repeatedly honored by being elected to various offices. He was 
chosen judge of probate for the district in 1847, ^^^ h€:\d the 
office, with the exception of two years, until 1854. Minor was 
elected a member of the General Assembly from Stamford, 1841, 
1842, 1843, 1^44' 1846, 1847, 1852, seven times, and in 
1854 was chosen from the twelfth district as a state senator. 

237 



'The Governors of Connecticut 

During the session of the Legislature he was elected judge of the 
Fairfield County Court. He held this position only a short time, 
for in 1855 Minor was the choice of the Know-Nothing party for 
governor, and was nominated for the office. The election which 
followed was so close that the contest went to the General 
Assembly for settlement. That body elected Minor governor 
of the state, and he was re-elected the following year by the people. 
His administration was very satisfactory, and Governor Minor 
proved to be a popular chief magistrate. 

He continued his law practice after retiring from office, and 
his great interest in it was not abated. As the clouds of the Civil 
War gathered Governor Minor was an outspoken adherent of the 
Federal cause, and by his timely assistance and influence rendered 
valuable service to the state and the nation. He helped the author- 
ities in raising troops, equipping them, and transporting them 
to the seat of war. 

Governor Minor was a warm supporter of Governor Bucking- 
ham, and in him the famous "war governor" found a wise 
counsellor, a true friend to the cause for which they were strug- 
gling, and a statesman of sterling ability. 

In 1864 he was a delegate from Connecticut to the Repub- 
lican National Convention at Baltimore, and in the fall of the 
same year was appointed by President Lincoln consul-general to 
Havana, Cuba. While occupying this position Governor Minor 

238 



'T b e Go -v e r II r s o f C o ii n e c t i c u t 

gained national distinction by a shrewd piece of diplomatic work. 
By superior tact and dogged determination, Minor induced 
the captain-general ot Cuba not only to detain but to ultimately 
deliver to the United States government the capable rebel ram 
"Stonewall Jackson." This act was commended on every side and 
brought Minor much fame as a diplomat. When Andrew 
Johnson became president, Governor Minor resigned his office, 
and in May, 1867, returned to Connecticut, and resumed the 
practice of law in Stamford. One year later he was again elected 
by the General Assembly a judge of the Superior Court, and he 
continued on the bench until May, 1873, when he resigned. Retir- 
ing to private life he soon engaged in his profession again, with 
the same success as formerly. Governor Minor was nominat<'d for 
Congress in March, 1873, ^^^ ^"^^ defeated by William H. Bar- 
num of Salisbury. He was appointed as one of the commissioners 
in 1879 to permanently settle the much disputed boundary line 
between New York and Connecticut. Governor Minor was hon- 
ored in 1855 by Wesleyan College, which institution conferred 
upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

His last days were spent in Stamford, where he had the love 
and affection of his fellow townsmen. Governor Minor died at 
Stamford on October 13, 1889, and at the time of his death was 
the oldest living ex-governor of the state. 



239 



The 
THIRTY-NINTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
ALEXANDER HOLLEY 

A straightforward business man who believed 
it his duty to conscientiously participate in 
civic affairs— He was born in Lakeville, in 
the town of Salisbury, and began life in his 
father's store, later entering the field of manu- 
factures and following an eminently success- 
ful business career— Elected to the governor- 
ship because of his integrity, he conducted his 
political duties on sound business principles 




./u^} ji^y^^^Y 



ALEXANDER 



HAMILTON 



H O L L E Y 



ALEXANDER Hamilton HoUey was bom in the village of 
Lakeville, town of Salisbury, on August 12, 1804. His 
name was given in honor of Alexander Hamilton, whose 
sudden and untimely death a month before HoUey's birth was 
deeply deplored by the whole country. 

He was the son of John Milton and Sally (Porter) HoUey, 
residents of Salisbury for many years. His ancestors were men 
endowed with an uncommon vigor of mind, and possessed much 
natural ability. The early years of his life were spent attending a 
school kept by Rev. Orville Dewey at Sheffield, Massachusetts, 
and later he was sent to a boarding school in Ellsworth, Con- 
necticut, conducted by Reverend Parker, father of the famous 
Judge Amasa J. Parker. 

He was prepared for Yale College, but on the eve of his 
entrance to that institution the young man's health failed, which made 
it impossible for him to even attempt the course. In consequence 
he left school at the age of sixteen years, and entered his father's store, 
where he started his long and eminently successful business career. 

243 



'The Governors of C o n n c c t > c u t 

He began manufacturing pocket cutlery in 1844 in his native 
town and continued in business with Nathan W. Merwin until 
1854. During the latter year a joint stock company was organized 
under name of Holley Manufacturing Company, with Alexander 
Holley as president. He held this position and continued in the 
business until his death. 

Holley was always a Whig in politics, and although he 
never sought office it came to him quite often. In 1844 ^^ ^^^ ^ 
delegate to the national convention that nominated Henry Clay 
for president. He was an ardent admirer of the famous statesman 
and enjoyed the honor of being the official head of the committee 
which announced the nomination to Clay. 

Becoming popular in Connecticut politics Holley was elected 
to the first public office of his life in 1854, when he was chosen 
lieutenant governor of the state. The ability he displayed on the day 
of his inauguration at New Haven led many to comment on the fact 
and congratulate themselves on having honored him with the office. 

In 1856 he was nominated for governor and elected. His 
administration, although uneventful, was characterized by the able 
manner in which he prosecuted the duties of the office. Thor- 
oughly informed on all the current questions of the day, Governor 
Holley conducted his political affairs on sound business principles. 

Retiring from office in 1857 he was the following year appointed 
as the Connecticut representative to be present at the unveiling ot 

244 



1' h e Governors of C o n n e c t / c u t 

Cranford's statue of Washington at Richmond, Virginia. During 
the year 1862 he was traveling in Europe and in 1866 Governor 
Buckingham offered him the position of commissioner from Con- 
necticut to the World's Fair in Paris. Governor Holley did not 
accept this honor on account of a recent bereavement in his family- 
In 1871 Governor Holley made another long visit to Europe, visit- 
ing all places ot interest on the continent. 

Returning to Connecticut, he spent the remaining years of 
his life with his family in Lakeville. About the last occasion on 
which Governor Holley made a public appearance was at the 
dedication of the soldiers' monument at New Haven, on May 16, 
1887, when he attended the exercises as a guest ot honor. In 
September of the same year he became ill and died on October 2, 
aged 83 years. 

Governor Holley was pre-eminently a business man and 
amassed a large fortune, but yet as governor of the state he dis- 
played rare qualities which made his political career a great success. 

There was a straight-forwardness in his nature, coupled with 
an affectionate ardor for those about him, which made him a great 
favorite with the public. He was strongly opposed to slavery and 
to all parties that upheld the institution. 

The friends of temperance found in Governor Holley a 
strong supporter, as his dislike for the liquor traffic was exemplified 
in word and deed. 

245 



The 
FORTIETH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 
WILLIAM A. BUCKINGHAM 

A Lebanon boy who first became a surveyor 
and then worked on his father's farm — Going 
to Norwich, he entered his uncle's dry goods 
store, and later became a prosperous merchant 
and manufacturer — As a vigorous figure in 
the slave days he became a leader of the 
abolitionists, a supporter and intimate friend 
of Lincoln, and chief executive of Connecticut 
during the Civil War, inspiring the common- 
wealth to a patriotism that has become histori- 
cal record — During the reconstruction he was 
a dominant force in the United States Senate 




(\f^lLL-uk^^ 




WILLIAM 



ALFRED 



BUCKINGHAM 



GOVERNOR Buckingham was one of the "war governors" 
on whom President Lincoln leaned to a large extent dur- 
ing the Civil War, and, like Jonathan Trumbull nearly a 
century before, he had the patriotic love and support of the people 
of this state. Although a civilian by nature and. early training, he 
developed into one of the most distinguished governors Connecticut 
ever had and shed lustre on this commonwealth during one ot its 
darkest periods. 

Lebanon is a small old-fashioned town on the Hartford and 
Norwich stage road, but it has furnished five able governors to the 
state. In this town on May 28, 1804, was born William Alfred 
Buckingham. His ancestors were among members of Davenport's 
colony that settled New Haven, and his father. Deacon Bucking- 
ham, was a native of Saybrook, who afterwards removed to 
Lebanon. 

The young man attended the district schools in Lebanon, and 
later became a student at Bacon's Academy in Colchester, where he 
prepared for the profession of a land surveyor. After a brief trial 

249 



The Governors of C o n n e c t i c u 1 

in this work he returned to his father's farm in Lebanon and 
remained for three years. Going to Norwich he entered a dry 
goods store conducted by his uncle in that city, with a determina- 
tion to learn the business. This seemed to suit him so well that 
in 1826 Buckingham opened a store of his own, and began to lay 
the foundation of the fortune which was to exert such a beneficent 
influence in future years. 

In 1830 he added the manufacturing of ingrain carpets to his 
business, which also proved to be a successful venture. 

Buckingham loaned money to a friend in 1848 to engage in 
the manufacture of rubber shoes. This was the starting point of 
the Hayward Rubber Company. The business proved to be so 
lucrative that Buckingham gave up his other business so as to 
devote his time to this industry. For many years he was the man- 
ager and treasurer of the company, and developed it into one ot the 
largest concerns of the section. By this time Buckingham had 
become one of the leading citizens of the city of Norwich. His 
uncommon ability was demonstrated by the fact that he amassed a 
large fortune in the face of several financial panics. 

He was elected mayor of Norwich and served during the 
years 1849, 1850, 1856 and 1857. 

Buckingham's name was brought forward in the spring ot 
1858 — one of the most dismal on record — by the Republican 
party as a candidate for governor. He was nominated and received 

250 



The Governors of C o n n e c t i c u t 

a majority of 2,449 '^^ ^^^ following election. The inauguration 
was at New Haven on the first Monday in May, and Governor 
Buckingham was to the state at large, and certainly to the nation, 
an unknown man. His message to the incoming Legislature 
showed unmistakable signs of his great antagonism to the slave 
power. The first administration of Governor Buckingham served 
to popularize the man, so that in 1859 he was re-elected. He 
was renominated in i860, and this campaign was one of the most 
momentous ever witnessed in this state. Thomas Hart Seymour, 
the Democratic " war horse " was nominated to run against Buck- 
ingham, and then ensued a contest not soon to be forgotten. As 
the time for election drew near, the result was watched throughout 
the nation, for Connecticut had come to be a famous battle ground. 

Abraham Lincoln was sent to this state, and he made six 
speeches throughout Connecticut. Governor Buckingham traveled 
with Lincoln and usually presented him to his audience. A warm 
friendship sprung up between the two men, similar to the one that 
existed between Trumbull and Washington, and which lasted until 
the two were parted by death. 

On April 2, i860, the election took place. The result was 
awaited with feverish anxiety, and for a time it looked as if Sey- 
mour had won. The large cities of the state gave majorities to 
Seymour, while the small cities went for Buckingham, his majority 
being only 541. 

251 



•the Governors of Con n e c t i c u t 

Governor Buckingham was re-elected in 1861 by over 2,000 
majority, for the commonweahh had found in him the man they 
wanted for a crisis. Lincoln's call for troops was issued 
April 15, 1861. The order reached this state from President 
Lincoln for a regiment to meet the enemy. As there was hardly a 
regiment of organized militia in Connecticut, Governor Bucking- 
ham issued a proclamation the following day calling for troops; 
and although this act was unauthorized by law he depended solely 
upon the Legislature soon to convene to validate this step. Fifty- 
four companies enlisted instead of ten, and when the General 
Assembly met in May it not only ratified the action of the 
governor but promptly appropriated $2,000,000 for military 
expenses. The governor made a remark to a friend that no state 
should send better troops into the field, and he went about the task 
in a business-like manner. 

During the first year of the war he turned over to the govern- 
ment 13,576 troops, including infantry, cavalry and artillery, 
thoroughly armed and ready for service. In 1862 he received 
another good majority, and was elected governor for the fifth time, if 
Soon after he issued a proclamation calling for more men, in 
accordance with the president's call for 600,000. A portion of the 
governor's patriotic proclamation was as follows : " By our delay 
the safety of our armies, even of the nation, may be imperilled. . . . 
Close your manufactories and workshops, turn aside from your 
252 



T he Go I' e r n r s o f C o n ii e c t i c it t 

farms and your business, leave tor a while your families and homes, 
meet face to face the enemy of your liberties." 

No wonder these words stirred the noblest emotion in every 
freeman's breast, and it was but a short time before Connecticut's 
quota was raised. 

The election ot 1864 was quiet and again resulted in the 
choice of Buckingham tor another term. In his message to the 
General Assembly he said : " Slavery is not dead. Its life is in 
the custody of its friends, and while it shall remain there will be no 
peace. The events of the past urge us to adopt some measure 
which shall terminate in favor of freedom that controversy which 
must ever exist so long as a part of the nation remain free and a 
part enslaved." 

With the advent of the spring ot 1865 came the close of the 
war, and Buckingham was elected for the eighth time as governor 
by a majority of 1 1,000. 

Governor Buckingham had accomplished a work during 
these years which would make his name famous for time to come. 
Some idea of what he did can be realized when it is stated that at 
the time of the Civil War there were 461,000 people in Con- 
necticut, 80,000 of which were voters, and 50,000 capable of 
bearing arms. The inhabitants of the old state, encouraged by the 
patriotic example of their governor, strained their efforts to put 
men in the field. As a result Connecticut had in the army, at 

253 



T h c G o I" c r u r s of Connecticut 

various times, twenty-eight regiments of well equipped infantry, 
two regiments and three batteries of artillery, and one regiment 
and a squadron of cavalry, aggregating nearly 55,000 men. This 
was fully 6,000 more than the state's quota, and only one or two 
states in the Union excelled this record. 

Connecticut's record in the Civil War is one of which her 
sons will always be proud. "Although known as the 'war 
governor' of Connecticut," says a biographer, "he was of kindly 
disposition and gentle manners." His interest in the Connecticut 
troops was unusual. Once when in Washington, Governor Buck- 
ingham told a high official: "You will see a great many battles 
and much suffering. Don't let any Connecticut man suffer for 
want of anything that can be done for him. If it costs money, 
draw on me for it." This official when told of the victory of the 
Federal troops at Gettysburg, wired the news of the victory 
to Governor Buckingham. The latter telegraphed as quickly 
as possible the answer : " Take good care of the Connecticut 
men." 

When his eighth term was nearly completed Buckingham 
declined to serve again and for the next two years enjoyed the 
pleasures of private life. But he was not long to remain idle, for 
his wise counsels were needed in other departments of the govern- 
ment. In 1868 he was elected United States senator from 
Connecticut, and he took his seat on March 4, 1869. In this 

254 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

distinguished body he busied himself in considering the great 
questions of reconstruction. 

Buckingham was chairman of the committee appointed by 
the Senate to investigate the New York custom house frauds. 
When nearing the end of his term he died, after a brief ilhiess, on 
February 5", 1875, aged 72 years. 

The funeral was held in Norwich and was attended by some 
of the most distinguished men in the nation. The " Norwich 
Bulletin" paid this tribute to this famous citizen : '' In private life 
Governor Buckingham was characterized by great sweetness of dis- 
position and an urbane courtesy in his social relations which won 
the sincere regard of all with whom he was personally in contact. 
He possessed that polished dignity of manner which we of this day 
characterize as the gentility of the old school, and the refinement 
of its minor details was strongly marked in all his habits of 
life. . . . He was not a politician, neither was he a great states- 
man, but he was great in his probity, patriotism, and purity of life, 
and intrusively he wielded a vast influence for good. In public 
and in private life, like him who was loved of God, he walked 
uprightly before men. And with a full remembrance of all the 
honors which had been pressed upon him, ot all the great successes 
of his life, no better or truer epitaph can be produced over his 
grave than that which he himself would have desired : 'A man of 
honor, and a Christian gentleman.'" 

255 



The Governors of Connecticut 

Eulogies were delivered in memory of Governor Buckingham 
on February 27th in the United States Senate. Among those who 
paid eloquent tributes to his life and character were Senators Ferry 
and Eaton of Connecticut, Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, Steven- 
son of Kentucky, Wright of Iowa, Bayard of Delaware, Pratt of 
Indiana, Thurman of Ohio, and Morton of Indiana. 

Governor Buckingham left liberal bequests for various religious 
and educational purposes. Among these was $25,000 to the Yale 
Divinity School at New Haven. When the new Capitol was 
completed at Hartford, $10,000 was appropriated for a suitable 
statue of Governor Buckingham. The Hon. Henry B. Harrison 
of New Haven was made chairman of the commission, and $6,000 
was also appropriated for the unveiling ceremonies, which took 
place in the Capitol, June 18, 1884. 

The statue is placed in the western end of the Capitol; 
represents the famous "war governor" in a sitting posture, and was 
executed by Olin L. Warner of New York. Governor Waller 
uncovered the statue and an address was delivered by United 
States Senator Orville H. Piatt. 



256 



"The 
FORTY-FIRST GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

iras 

JOSEPH ROSWELL HAWLEY 

The son of an anti-slavery leader, he was 
graduated from Hamilton College and then 
studied and practiced law, entering immedi- 
ately into the abolition movement and becom- 
ing one of the organizers of the Republican 
party — He abandoned law to become a journal- 
ist, and his newspaper became one of the most 
powerful periodicals in the nation — Responding 
to the first call for troops in 1861, he was one of 
the most distinguished figures in the Civil War, 
and later as governor of his state and United 
States senator passed a remarkable career 



1 



JOSEPH 



R O S W E L L 



H A W L E Y 



ONE of the most distinguished men that Connecticut has 
contributed to the nation in the last half century is 
General Joseph Roswell Hawley. 
He was born in Stewartsville, North Carolina, October 31, 
1826, of English and Scotch ancestry, and his ancestors were 
among the first settlers of Stratford. Elis father. Rev. Francis 
Hawley, a native of this state, was temporarily in North Carolina 
when he married Mary McLeod. Returning to Connecticut 
"Father Hawley," as he was called, became prominently identified 
with the anti-slavery leaders, and was one of the best known men 
in Connecticut. 

Joseph R. Hawley attended the Hartford grammar school, 
and a school in Cazenovia, N. Y., where the family had moved in 
1842. Entering Hamilton College in 1843, ^^ ^^^^ graduated 
in 1847, ^^^^ high honors. He then studied law in Cazenovia, 
and commenced practicing in 1850 at Hartford, as a partner of 
the late John Hooker. 

259 



The Governors of Connect i cut 

Entering at once into the tree-soil discussion, he became 
chairman ot the state committee, and did everything in his power 
to bring about a union of all those who opposed slavery. He 
issued a call for a meeting in his office at Hartford, February 4, 
1856, which resulted in the organization of the Republican party 
in this state. 

During the campaign of 1856, Hawley devoted three months 
to speaking for John C. Freemont. The next year he gave up 
the practice of law and commenced his long career as a journalist. 
Forming a partnership with William Faxon, afterwards assistant 
secretary ot the navy, he became editor of the " Evening Press," 
the new Republican newspaper. 

Responding to the first call for troops in 1861, he was 
actively concerned in raising a regiment, and was the first man to 
volunteer in Connecticut. Going to the front as captain of Com- 
pany A, First Connecticut Volunteers, he was in the battle of Bull 
Run and was commended for his bravery by General Keyes. 

Hawley afterwards assisted Colonel Alfred H, Terry in form- 
ing the Seventh Connecticut, and was elected lieutenant colonel of 
the regiment. Going South the regiment was in the Port Royal 
expedition, and engaged in the operation around Fort Pulaski. 
He now succeeded Colonel Terry in the command of the regi- 
ment and participated in the battles of James Island and Poco- 
taligo. The Seventh went to Florida and in April, 1863, 
260 



'T' h e Governors o f C o n n e c t > c u t 

was in the expedition against Charleston. In 1864 Hawley com- 
manded a brigade at the battle of Oiiistee, Florida, where the 
Northern forces lost almost forty per cent of their men. 

Hawley was in command of a brigade in the Tenth Army 
corps in April, 1864, and later participated in the battles of Drewry's 
Bluff, Deep Run, Darbytown Road, Bermuda Hundred and Deep 
Bottom. He took an important part in the siege ot Petersburg, 
and had command of a division in the battle of Newmarket Road. 

During the fall of 1864 he was appointed a brigadier general, 
and dispatched to New York in command of a brigade of picked 
men to preserve order during the presidential election. In January, 
1865, General Hawley succeeded General Terry in the command 
of a division. Later General Hawley joined the Tenth Army 
corps as General Terry's chief of staff, and when Wilmington was 
captured he was selected by General Schofield to form a base of 
supplies for General Sherman's army. Joining General Terry 
again as chief of staff in June, 1865, he remained in the Depart- 
ment of Virginia until June when he returned to Connecticut, and 
was brevetted a major general. 

He was mustered out of the service on January 15, 1866, 
after having made a record for himself of which Connecticut will 
always be proud. 

In the spring of 1866 General Hawley was considered to be 
the best man to succeed Buckingham, and was elected gov- 

261 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

ernor of Connecticut at the following election. The next year he 
was re-nominated, but was defeated by James E. English of New 
Haven. 

He now turned his attention to journalism again, and the 
" Press " was united with the " Courant." General Hawley became 
editor, and entered into the discussion of the problems of recon- 
struction days with all his might. He wielded an able pen in 
dealing with national and state politics and was in great demand 
everywhere as a forceful and eloquent speaker. 

In 1868 General Hawley was president of the Republican 
National Convention. h\ the convention of 1872 he was secretary 
of the committee on resolutions, and chairman of the same 
committee in 1876. 

When Julius L. Strong of Hartford died in 1872, causing a 
vacancy in Congress, General Hawley was elected to that position, 
and then commenced his long congressional career. He was a 
member of the 43d Congress, and afterwards of the 46th. 

General Hawley was made president of the United States 
Centennial Commission in 1872, and remained at the head until 
the affairs ot the Centennial were settled in 1877. 

He was elected United States senator in January, 1861, 
and was re-elected in 1887, 1893 and 1899. While in the 
Senate General Hawley was a member of the committees on 
coast defenses, railroads, printing and military affairs. He was also 
262 



T h c G I' (.■ r I! r s of Connecticut 

chairman of the Civil Service Committee, and was at the head 
of a picked committee on warships and ordnance. 

General Hawley received fifteen votes for president in the 
Repubhcan National Convention of 1884, the Connecticut delega- 
tion voting for him on every ballot. 

Hamilton College conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws on 
her distinguished graduate in 1875, and Yale followed with the 
same degree in 1886. 

General Hawley for a generation was one of the foremost rnen 
in this country and his influence in the United States Senate was as 
great as any member of that body. 

The health of General Hawley began to fail in the summer 
of 1902, but he remained a senator until the expiration of his term 
in 1905, when he was succeeded by Hon. Morgan G. Bulkeley of 
Hartford. The distinguished statesman died March 17, 1905. 
The morning after his death his life work was summed up by the 
•• New York Tribune " editorially as follows: 

"As a politician General Hawley was distinguished for his 
openness and independence of character. He was a partisan, 
intense and vehement, but he never sacrificed his ideals of fairness 
and manliness to the exigencies of politics. He was incapable of 
chicanery or corruption, and detested hypocrisy and humbug. As 
an orator he was impetuous and sometimes overpassionate. But 
his ideals oi conduct were high, and his whole nature responded to 

263 



'The Governors of Connerticvt 

any cause which fully enlisted his sympathies. He was broad 
minded and plain spoken, and his aid was always given to move- 
ments which sought to elevate political standards. In his prime 
he was a leader whose influence was as wholesome as it was wide- 
spread. His death ends a career which honored Connecticut and 
which measured up to its best and highest traditions in statesman- 
ship." 

Eulogies were pronounced over his body in the hall oi the 
House of Representatives at Hartford by leading men of the 
commonwealth, and an eloquent tribute to his career was delivered 
by his colleague, Senator Orville H. Piatt, who followed him into 
the grave a few weeks later. 

General Hawley's funeral was held in the Asylum Avenue 
Congregational Church at Hartford on March 21. Ex-Governor 
George P. McLean delivered a brief address, among others, which 
portrays in a masterful manner the life work of the soldier states- 
man. He said : 

" It is a great honor to be invited to break the silence of an 
occasion like this. Not because the man of whom I am to speak 
was at one time a general in a great war and at another time, and 
for a long time, a member of the United States Senate : high 
places shorten small men who try to stand in them and add but 
little to the real stature of the great ones. The honor to me comes 
in the fact that I have been requested to say a word — for I can 
264 



T" h ^ Gov e r n r s of Connecticut 

say but a word — about a brave, strong, honest man — a man in 
whose soul burned night and day the flame of a Puritan conscience 
lighting his way to duty in war and in peace; and which he 
followed willingly and triumphantly from boyhood to the grave ; 
a man who. even in the latter part of the nineteenth century, cared 
more for his countrv and his character than he did for his inven- 
tory : and who in the fullness of time, left to his family and his 
friends, to you and to me. too, to his state and his nation a long 
and precious heritage of items that thieves cannot steal or rust 
corrupt. 

'• When in these hurrying days of new things and so-called new 
thought, the living stand at the bier of such a man, how swift, how 
emphatic and startling is the conviction that, no matter what the 
generations of the future may do or discover, prove or disprove, 
believe or disbelieve, as long as the earth is inhabited by man, an 
honest one will be the noblest work ot the Infinite. It was Gen- 
eral Hawley's lot to lead and serve his fellowmen, but I could not, 
if I would, add anything to the eloquent and faithful description 
ot that leadership and service which you have heard, and which 
you will hear in this house, and which you will sincerely approve. 
I will only say that in his life fortune and fancy met in almost 
perfect harmony. For him tlie grim gates of circumstance opened 
upon (,:ongenial fields and remained open until he had done, and 
done well, tlie work he wanted to do. He saw the Union saved 

265 



1" b e Governors o f Connecticut 

and new stars added to the liag he loved. From the long, dark 
stress of war and death and doubt and temptation and intrigue, he 
saw his country rise triumphant, folding her enemies in the mantle 
of charity and unfolding to herself the white robe of justice and 
peace. For almost half a century he walked hand in hand with 
the better genius of the republic, himself the Spirit ot '76 incar- 
nate, the type invincible, that loves and dares and wins for the 
millions yet to come. We cannot call him back ; we can mourn, 
but we cannot stay the loss; we may not comfort the bereft, but 
we can heed the lesson, and we can stop to-day, and turn our faces 
from the shining idols of profit, and, remembering that great 
nations are made and, when made, are perpetuated by good men 
and not by rich men, we can thank God for giving this man to 
Connecticut and the Union." 



266 



FORTY-SECOND GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

zvas 

JAMES EDWARD ENGLISH 

Born in New Haven, at the age of eleven 
years he was " bound out" to a farmer— When 
sixteen years of age he vv'as apprenticed to a 
builder— Beginning a business career, he 
became one of the richest men in the state 
and conspicuous in public life, wholly through 
his own integrity and ability— As congress- 
man. United States senator, and governor, 
he became a power in national affairs and in 
coQvention received ballots for the pr.rsiilencv 






i 




A 



%. I 



fy^-^-'/x/^ 



JAMES 



EDWARD 



ENGLISH 



JAN4ES Edward English, one of the most distinguished men 
that New Haven ever produced, should be classed with 

Roger Wolcott, Samuel Huntington and Matthew Griswold, 
governors of Connecticut, who were entirely self-made. Probably 
no resident of New Haven, with the possible exception of Roger 
Sherman and ex-Governor Baldwin, ever attained greater honors in 
his state and the nation than did James E. English. 

Every success in his life was the product of his own self- 
exertion, and his life furnishes a brilliant example to any boy who 
is born without wealth or influence to help him in his career. 

The ancestors of Governor English were thrifty people. His 
great-grandfather lost his life during General Tryon's invasion of 
the city on July 5, 1779, when so many citizens were murdered 
and others made homeless. His grandfather engaged in the West 
India trade and was captain of a vessel sailing out of New Haven. 

The father of Governor English was a man of intelligence, 
and his mother a member of the Griswold family which has 



furnished two governors to the commonwealth. 



269 



1" he Go V e r n r s of C o n n e c t i c ?/ / 

James E. English was born at New Haven, on March 13, 
1812, and his boyhood was uneventful. At the age of eleven 
years he was "bound out" to a farmer. During the two and a half 
years he spent on the farm the boy only attended the district school 
for eight months, and his father awakened to the fact that his 
son should have more of an opportunity for obtaining an 
education. Returning to his home the young man attended 
school for the next two years, and he made rapid progress in his 
studies. 

When sixteen years of age, the future statesman was appren- 
ticed to Atwater Treat, a prominent builder of New Haven to 
learn the carpenter trade. The latent ability of the young man 
soon manifested itself and before he reached his majority he had 
become a master builder. 

His first work of a public character was in the old Lancas- 
terian school in New Haven, built on the site of the present Hill- 
house High School. The establishment of this latter school was 
one of the philanthropic acts of Governor English when he had 
reached years of prosperity. When twenty-one years of age 
English went into business for himself, and began the erection of 
various buildings. The historian of New Haven, Atwater, 
remarks that "several houses designed and erected by him (English), 
in a style more elaborate than was common in New Haven, bear 
creditable testimony to his architectural taste." 

270 



'the Governors of Connecticut 

English prospered in business and made money very rapidly. 
Engaging in the lumber business later on he was so successful that 
after following it twenty years he was able, with two other gentle- 
men, to purchase the manufacturing business of the Jerome Clock 
Company. After a few years this company, originally started in 
Bristol, became one of the largest of its kind in the world. The 
business was afterwards merged with the New Haven Clock Com- 
pany. During this period he was interested in various real estate 
deals, banking, and other enterprises, so that by the time English had 
reached the middle life he was one of the richest men in Connecticut. 

It is said of him that not a dollar of his vast fortune was 
made by speculation, and it was all the product of his uncommon 
business ability. His wonderful success in business made him 
conspicuous in public life, and the people of his native city 
began to look to him for important trusts. 

In 1848 he was elected a member of the New Haven Com- 
mon Council, and in 1855 he served as representative from the city 
in the General Assembly. 

He was elected a state senator in 1856, re-elected in 1858. 

In 1861 English was elected a member of Congress as a 
''war democrat," and he served as a representative four years. 
During^ the years of the Civil War his course was eminently 
honorable. While in Congress he voted with the Republicans on 
all important questions although a Democrat all his life. 

271 



I' b e G V e r fi r s of Connecticut 

English supported the war and the administration and voted 
for the abohtion of slavery in the District of Columbia. 

He was a member of the committee on naval affairs, opposed 
the legal tender bill and national banking system. 

At the time when almost every state was in the hands of the 
Republican party, English, solely on account of his great popularity, 
was nominated and elected by the Democrats in 1867 as governor. 

He was re-elected in 1868, and his term in office was very 
satisfactory. Re-nominated in 1869 he was defeated at the 
following election by Marshall Jewell of Hartford. 

Governor English was re-elected again in 1870, and served 
one more year as chief magistrate of the commonwealth. 

In national politics Governor English was also an important 
factor. He was a presidential elector at large in the election of 
1868, and at the Democratic National Convention which met in 
Tammany Hall, New York, July 4, of the same year, he received 
nineteen votes on the fifth ballot for president of the United States. 

In 1875, Governor English was appointed United States 
senator by Governor Ingersoll to fill the vacancy caused by the 
death of the Elon. Orris S. Ferry. He served in this capacity 
until the spring of 1876. 

During the later years of his life he did not hold any public 
office, but spent his time in attending to the various manufacturing 
and other enterprises in which he was interested. 

272 



The Governors of Connecticut 

Among other things he was president of the New Haven 
Savings Bank and a manager of the Adams Express Company. 

Governor English gave freely to various worthy objects, and 
among his many acts of philanthropic character may be mentioned 
his gift of $10,000 to the Yale Law School, and $20,000 for the 
improvement of East Rock. 

Governor English died at his home in New Haven on 
March 2, 1890, aged seventy-eight years. 

His son, Henry F. English, is one of the most prominent 
residents of New Haven and inherits the liberal spirit of his dis- 
tinguished father. He has presented a handsome building on 
Grove Street to the New Haven Colony Historical Society, as 
a memorial to his father and mother. 



273 



FORTY- THIRD GOVERNOR 

CONNECTICUT 

zcas 
MARSHALL JEWELL 

The son of a tanner, who became a telegraph 
operator and electrician, finally returning to 
his father's business which developed into one 
of the leading enterprises of the state — After 
extensive European travels in the interests of 
the leather trade, he wa'^ elected to the gov- 
ernorship — President Grant appointed him 
minister to Russia and later postmaster gen- 
eral — His retirement from public life and his 
return to his old home was the occasion of a 
loyal demonstration and significant tribute 





-^^^^-^^L-^^^^^a^;^ 




MARSHALL 



JEWELL 




ARSHALL Jewell was born in Winchester, New Hamp- 
shire, October 2o, 1825. His father was a tanner, as was 
also his grandfather and great-grandfather, so at an early 
age he became an apprentice in his father's tanyard. After learn- 
ing the trade he decided not to follow it for a business, and went 
to Boston where he studied electricity. Paying special attention 
to telegraphy he afterwards went to Rochester, where he became 
telegraph operator. From that city he went to Akron, Ohio, where 
he remained a shore time, and then roved through several states. 
At the age of twenty-three Jewell had charge of the construction 
of the telegraph line between Louisville, Kentucky, and New 
Orleans. 

In 1849 ^^ ^'^^ offered and accepted the position of general 
superintendent of the New York and Boston telegraph lines. 
When he came North to commence his duties he was called to 
Hartford to engage with his father in the manufacture of leather 
belting. 

His father, Pliny Jewell, a prominent Whig in New Hamp- 
shire, had removed to Hartford, and established the belting business 

277 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

in 1845. it had now become very successful, and Marshall Jewell 
was made a partner in the concern which was rapidly developing 
into one of the great enterprises of the state. He remained in 
partnership with his father until the latter's death. In 1859 ^^ 
visited Europe, and made a special study of the large tanneries in 
England and France. He went abroad in i860 and in 1867, 
visiting Asia and Africa. In 1867 Jewell attended the great 
exposition at Paris where he extended the business of his company 
to a large extent. The great ability of Jewell, his public spirit, 
and interest in public affairs, gave him prominence as a private 
citizen, and his unwavering support of the Union cause during the 
dark days of the Rebellion drew special regard to him as a man 
qualified by his energy, integrity and patriotism for the public 
service. He was one of the first members of the Republican party 
in Connecticut. In 1868 he was nominated for governor of Con- 
necticut, but was defeated by a small majority. The next year he 
was elected governor, and served one year, when he was defeated 
again by English, but in 1871 and 1872 he was re-elected. His 
work as governor is summed up by a writer as follows : 

"Jewell's administration of the state government was marked 
by various legislative and executive reforms. Among these were 
the reorganization of the state militia, the laws of divorce, the 
government of Yale College, biennial elections, and the erection of 
the new state house at Hartford." 
278 



T" b e Governors of Connecticvt 

Retiring as governor in 1873, President Grant immediately 
appointed him minister to Russia. Although his residence in 
Russia was brief, yet during the time he was at the Russian Court 
he arranged a convention protecting trade-marks, and made the 
most of a golden opportunity to learn the art of manufacturing the 
far famed " Russia leather." 

He made a practical application of his knowledge when he 
returned to the United States and introduced into this country 
the Russian process of tanning leather. 

\vi. July, 1874, Governor Jewell was appointed by President 
Grant, postmaster general of the United States to succeed J. A. J. 
Cresswell of Maryland. Hurrying home from his foreign mission. 
Governor Jewell accepted this honorable position in the president's 
cabinet, and began the duties of the office, August 24, 1874. While 
at the head of the post office department he instituted several 
needed reforms in the service, and was the pioneer in establishing 
the system of fast mail trains, which has since been extended, and 
become such an inestimable boon to the public. He was also 
active in the whiskey ring prosecution. 

In 1876. owing, it is said, to the selfish interest of a political 
cabal. President Grant asked for Jewell's resignation, although he 
was on the best of terms with the chief executive. Jewell resigned 
the same time as Benjamin H. Bristow, secretary of the treasury. 
Seven years later the "New York Tribune" declared that Jewell's 

279 



-T b e Go V e r n r s of Connecticut 

removal was brought about in order to strengthen the RepubHcan 
party in Indiana tor the fall election. On July 12, 1876, Jewell 
was succeeded by James M. Tyner of Indiana. 

Governor Jewell's return to Connecticut was made the occasion 
of a loyal demonstration in honor of her distinguished son. At 
Hartford he was met by a great concourse of citizens, and the cele- 
bration was one of the largest ever held in the city. A great 
procession was formed, salutes of artillery fired, speeches of welcome 
were made by distinguished men and in various other ways the city 
paid tribute to the faithful public servant who had returned to 
private life. 

After this he held no political office, but was always in great 
demand as a popular campaign orator. He was interested in 
various business enterprises including the great belting establish- 
ment, and was president of the Jewell Pin Company, the Southern 
New England Telephone Company, and the United States Tele- 
phone Association. 

Governor Jewell was not in sympathy with General Grant's 
candidacy for a third term, but did not openly oppose him on 
account of having been a member of his cabinet. After General 
Garfield was nominated. Governor Jewell was immediately elected 
chairman of the Republican National Committee, and on him fell 
the duty of supervising the campaign. This task he fulfilled with 
great energy and success as was shown by the following election. 

280 



T" b e Governors of Connecticut 

The vast amount of work connected with this campaign seriously 
affected his health, and shortened his life. 

Returning to Hartford he spent the remaining years in busi- 
ness, and died at his home in that city on February lo, 1883, aged 
fifty-eight years. 

It is related that shortly before he died, Governor Jewell said 
to his physician : " Doctor, how long does it take '?" The physician 
inquired what he meant, and he replied : " How long does it take 
for a man to die?" "In your condition, governor, it is a matter of 
only a few hours," answered the physician. "All right, doctor," 
said the dying statesman, and he settled back quietly upon his 
pillow to await the end. 



FORTY -FOURTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvcis 

CHARLES R. INGERSOLL 

The product of five generations of state patriot- 
ism, and son of a United States minister to the 
court of St. Petersburg, he received the broaden- 
ing influences of a higher education and travel and 
as a prominent jurist entered public life, receiving 
many honors and never suffering defeat in the pop- 
ular vote of his fellow citizens— For more than a 
half century he was one of the most esteemed men 
m the state, and died in his eighty-second year 



CHARLES 



ROBERTS 



INGERSOLL 



FOR five generations members of the IngersoU family were 
prominent in the affairs of this commonwealth. 

Jonathan IngersoU, the great-grandfather of Charles R, 
IngersoU, was a graduate of Yale College in the class of 1736, 
pastor of a church in Ridgefield for forty years, a chaplain in the 
French War in 1758, and a brother of the Hon. Jared IngersoU, 
chiefly known in Connecticut history from his having accepted the 
office of " Stamp Distributor " just before the Revolution. 

A son of the first Jonathan, bearing the same name, was also a 
Yale graduate, and for many years held a distinguished place at 
the Connecticut bar. He died while holding the office of lieu- 
tenant governor. His son, the Hon. Ralph Isaacs IngersoU, 
father of the late Governor IngersoU, was a leading member of the 
Connecticut Legislature, and afterwards went to Congress where he 
represented his district in an able manner from 1825 to 1833. 
Later in life he was attorney general of the state, and United 
States minister to the Court of St. Petersburg. 

285 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Charles Roberts Ingersoll was born in New Haven, Septem- 
ber 16, 1821, and entered Yale College in 1836, where he gained 
many honors as a thoughtful, brilliant student. He was graduated 
in 1840, near the head ot his class, and prominent for his attain- 
ments in the social and literary circles of the college. Soon after 
graduation Ingersoll sailed for Europe on the United States frigate 
" Preble," of which his uncle, Captain Voorhees, was commander. 
Remaining abroad for two years, he visited various portions of the 
continent, and then returned to his home to study law. He 
entered the Yale Law School, graduated in 1844, and was admit- 
ted to the bar in New Haven the following year. Commencing 
at once to practice in New Haven he remained there the 
remainder of his life, following his profession. His superior ability 
soon brought him success, and gave him a prominence in the 
political life of the state. In 1856 Ingersoll was elected a member 
of the General Assembly, and was re-elected in 1857 ^^^ 1858. 
He was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Conven- 
tion in 1864, and in 1866 was chosen for the fourth time a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives. The senatorship was offered 
him from his district in 1871, but he declined the honor, and then 
represented New Haven in the Lower House of another session. 
Ingersoll was now one of the most prominent Democratic leaders 
in Connecticut, and in 1873 ^^ ^^^ elected governor by a flatter- 
ing majority. The following year he was re-elected by a majority 

286 



1" h e Governors of Connecticut 

ot 7,000. His administration proved so successful that he was 
nominated and elected for the third time in 1875. In that year 
the term of office for a governor was changed from one to two 
years, and by constitutional amendment the term from 1876-7 was 
made to expire in 1877. 

The opponents of Governor Ingersoll in the two last elections 
were both graduates of Yale College, Henry B. Harrison, after- 
wards governor, and Henry C. Robinson of Hartford. In 1876 
Governor Ingersoll was a presidential elector, and in 1877 
declined a renomination as governor of the state. A curious fact 
of his political career is that he was never defeated for an office. 

A writer, commenting on his career in politics, has said : 

" His record in political life is one which most statesmen can 
only hope for or envy, and has received the praise of his bitterest 
political antagonists." 

After his retirement from the governorship, Ingersoll never 
held any political office, but devoted his time to the practice of his 
profession in New Haven. On resuming his professional work in 
1877 he was often called not only into the State and Federal courts, 
but into the United States Supreme Court at Washington. One 
of the important cases before the Supreme Court in which he was 
counsel was that of the Bridgeport Bran Company, in which the 
law on the reissuing of patents was finally determined. He was 
afterward engaged as counsel for Yale University, and his argu- 

287 



'The Governors of Connecticut 

ments in the case of Yale vs. the Connecticut Agricultural 
College, over a congressional appropriation attracted wide 
attention. A writer has said that Governor Ingersoll was the 
last survivor of a famous quartet of Connecticut lawyers, who were 
in the prime of their bar leadership twenty-five years ago. The 
other three were Jeremiah Halsey of Norwich, Richard D. 
Hubbard of Hartford and John S. Beach of New Haven. 

" His career in the Elm City," says a newspaper biographer, 
"for the past fifty years, his venerable white head, his military 
bearing and his thoroughly attractive personality, is a by-word 
throughout the state." His venerable figure was until recently 
familiar about the streets of the city he loved so well. 

Many honors were bestowed on Governor Ingersoll, and in 
1874 Yale University conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws 
upon her distinguished graduate. Governor Ingersoll once told 
the writer that he had seen and conversed with every governor of 
Connecticut under our present constitution from Oliver Wolcott, 
who was a frequent visitor at his father's house, to George P. 
McLean. 

Governor Ingersoll died at his home in New Haven on 
January 25, 1903, and his funeral was attended by the state's most 
prominent citizens. "The Hartford Courant" in commenting 
editorially on his death said : 

" He was the oldest of Connecticut's honored ex-governors. 

288 



1' he Governors of Connecticut 

He inherited a distinguished name, and enriched it with added 
distinction. One of the handsomest men of his generation, he 
lived up to his looks; his nature was fine and his life was fine. 
New Haven, the city of his birth, watched with pride but not 
with surprise his successes at the bar, where he was long a leader, 
and his growth in the respect and confidence of his political associ- 
ates. He was a popular governor, relinquishing the chair at last 
(more than a quarter-century ago) of his own volition. Once and 
again he was mentioned for the Senate. He continued in the 
practice of his profession after his retirement from politics. 
Indeed, up to a comparatively recent time he went to his law 
office on pleasant days and stayed there for an hour or two, sitting 
at the window, looking out on his beloved New Haven Green, 
hearing the details of cases from the younger men, and bringing to 
bear on their difficulties his ripe experience and learning. He 
lived to see his eighty-second year." 

His children are Miss Justine Ingersoll of New Haven, a 
writer of prominence; Mrs. Henry Ganz of Wilmington, Dela- 
ware ; Mrs. George Havens of New York, and Francis Gregory 
Ingersoll of New Haven. 



289 



The 
FORTY-FIFTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

was 

RICHARD D. HUBBARD 

Born in Berlin, and left an orphan, he worked 
his way through Yale College, studied law and 
rose to a lofty position at the bar— As congress- 
man and governor he gained celebrity as one 
of the most convincing orators in the country 
-By patient toil he forced himself to the top 
and compelled recognition, obtaining a com- 
plete mastery of many scholarly subjects— It 
was during his administration that the woman's 
property law was passed in Connecticut 



RICHARD 



DUDLEY 



HUBBARD 



GOVERNOR Hubbard was a poor boy who rose by his 
own exertion to the highest place at the bar, and became 
an orator of national reputation. 

Born in Berlin, September 7, 1818, he was the son of Lemuel 
Hubbard, an old resident of the town who descended from George 
Hubbard, one of the early magistrates of Guilford, and a frequent 
deputy from that town to the General Court. 

The young man was left an orphan early in life, without 
means to pay for an education. However, he decided to attend 
college, and after a preparatory course at East Hartford, entered 
Yale College in 1835. He was obliged to support himself while 
studying at Yale, but he took high rank in his class and was 
graduated in 1839. Then he studied law in the office of William 
Hungerford at Hartford and was admitted to the bar in 1842. 
In 1846 Hubbard was chosen state's attorney for Hartford 
County, and this office he held with the exception of two years 
until 1868. He often represented the city in the General 
Assembly and rose to a lofty position as an able lawyer. 

293 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Entering into politics early in life Hubbard was always 
prominently identified with the Democratic party, yet during the 
Civil War he was an unwavering supporter of the Federal 
government. 

In 1867 he was elected to Congress from his district, and was 
a member of that body during the 40th session. Life at 
Washington was apparently uncongenial to Hubbard, for at the 
next election he declined being renominated. He again took up 
his law practice and having formed a partnership with Hon. Loren 
P. Waldo and Alvin P. Hyde devoted the remaining years of his 
life to his profession. 

In 1877 Hubbard was nominated for governor of the state, 
and elected by a good majority. He was the first one to serve 
under the two years' term. 

In speaking of the importance of some of the enactments 
during Governor Hubbard's administration, the late John Hooker 
in publishing the personal correspondence between them, in his 
"Reminiscences," says : 

"Governor Hubbard in his first message to the General 
Assembly stated in very strong terms the injustice done to married 
women in respect to their property by the law as it stood, being 
the ancient English law with a few recent modifications." 

Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker in her autobiography in "The 
Connecticut Magazine" says: "In 1870 I presented a bill to the 

294 



l' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Connecticut Legislature making husband and wife equal in prop- 
erty rights and persisted in its passage without avail through 
succeeding legislatures until 1877. Governor Richard D. Hub- 
bard was an intimate friend of my husband and myself and had 
become much interested in our cause. He requested Mr. Hooker 
to draft a bill for a public act remedying the injustice. The bill 
was passed in 1877 and still holds its place in the statute book 
without material change." 

This notable enactment has had far reaching consequences 
and proved a master stroke at the opportune time. It gave 
woman her property emancipation in Connecticut, abandoning the 
old idea of the superior rights of her husband. Samuel Bowles, 
the distinguished editor of " The Springfield Republican," pro- 
nounced it "a great step forward." 

Governor Hubbard was renominated in 1879, but failed to 
be elected. His administration as governor was marked by his 
earnest desire to serve the state as well as possible, and to do his 
whole duty irrespective of any partnership whatever. Retiring 
from the office, he never held a public position afterwards and his 
lucrative practice engaged his attention until his death, which 
occurred on February 28, 1884, at his home in Hartford. 

When George D. Sargeant died in 1886 it was found he had 
left $5,000 for a statue of Governor Hubbard. One was made, 
placed in a conspicuous place on the Capitol grounds, and it faces 

295 



The Governors of Connecticut 

Washington street. The statue represents the governor standing 
in a position as though addressing the court or jury. It was 
unveiled on June 9, 1890, in the presence of the state officials 
and other prominent citizens. It bears the inscription : " Richard 
D. Hubbard, Lawyer, Orator, Statesman." 

" As an example of a self-made man," says a biographer, 
"there was none more shining. From a poor boy, through years 
of patient toil and studied application to his books he forced 
himself to the top and compelled admiration and respect of every- 
body in his native state, not excepting political foes." 

The following professional estimate of Governor Hubbard is 
taken from the "Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut." 

" It was, however, in the field of the law that he won his 
great success. He was not only the first lawyer in the state, but 
its greatest orator. His superiority as a lawyer was owing less 
to a laborious study of books, though he was always a diligent 
student and very thorough in the preparation of his cases, than to 
his perfect comprehension of legal principles. He obtained a 
complete mastery of the science of law. He had strong common 
sense, by which he tested everything, and with sound men of 
judgment he united great quickness of apprehension and brilliancy 
of imagination. His mind was eminently a philosophical one, 
and found recreation in abstract speculation: nothing interested 
him more than the great mysteries and baffling questions of life. 
296 



T" b e Governors of Connecticut 

"It was as an orator that he was best known to the general 
public. With great natural powers of speech he improved 
himself by a good classical education and by a life-long study of 
ancient and modern classics. There was in his speeches a special 
quietness of manner, an exquisiteness of thought, a fertility of 
imagination, and a power and grace of expression that made them 
captivating. Some of his addresses, in commemoration of his 
deceased brethren at the bar, are remarkable for their beauty. 
That upon William Hungerford is one of the finest pieces of 
composition that our language contains. To his profession he was 
ardently attached ; he loved its science, its eloquence, its wit, its 
nobility. He was proud of its history, of its contribution to 
philosophy and literature, and its struggle in defense of human 
rights, and assaults upon human wrongs. While he was the ablest 
and most accomplished lawyer of our state, his culture was 
peculiarly his own. He sought and studied the great arguments 
and orations of the past and present. He was a profound student 
of Shakespeare and Milton; he delighted in John Bunyan, Thomas 
Browne, Thomas Fuller and Jeremy Taylor. He was cultivated 
in the French language, and enjoyed the suggestive methods of 
French wit, and was familiar with their great dramatists and public 
orators." 



297 



"The 
FORTY -SIXTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
CHARLES B. ANDREWS 

The son of a clergyman who, after an academic 
course at Amherst College, studied law and was 
admitted to the Fairfield County bar, later re- 
moving to the Litchfield County bar and becom- 
ing one of its most eminent practitioners. After 
a legislative experience he became a leader in 
state pontics and during his administration as 
governor counseled many reforms. Aschief jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court he won recognition for 
his great power of analysis and absolute sagacity 





G. (/jLsL.o(jjU&p -^ 



CHARLES 



BARTLETT 



ANDREWS 



CHARLES Bartlett Andrews, the former chief justice of 
the Connecticut Supreme Court, was a descendant of Wil- 
liam Andrews, one of the first settlers of Hartford, and 
for a long period its town clerk. His father was Rev. Erastus 
Andrews, pastor of a church in North Sunderland, Massachusetts, 
he having removed to that state with his family early in life. 

Judge Andrews was born in Sunderland, November 4, 1834, 
and entered Amherst College in 1854, where he was graduated with 
high honors four years later. He then studied law in the town of 
Sherman, Connecticut, and in i860 was admitted to the Fairfield 
County bar, beginning practice in the small town ot Kent. His 
progress was rapid and he soon became known as one of the ablest 
young men of the section. When John M. Hubbard of Litch- 
field was chosen a member of Congress in 1863, he secured 
Andrews to take charge of his large law practice while the former 
was attending the sessions in Washington. Hubbard was at that 
time the leader of the Litchfield County bar, and his selection of 
so young a man to look after his business was a great compliment 

to the legal ability of Andrews. 

301 



1' b e Governors o f C o n n e c t i c u t 

Becoming a partner of Hubbard, he conducted the practice ot 
the firm with much success during the succeeding four years, and 
handled some of the most important cases that came before the 
bar of the county. Andrews soon grew to be one of the leading 
lawyers of that section and naturally became prominent in politics. 
He was elected a member of the State Senate in 1868 and re-elected 
in 1869. 

Andrews came into prominence during the second session, 
when he occupied the position of chairm^an of the Judiciary Com- 
mittee. In the early seventies several of the old-time lawyers ot 
the Litchfield bar, who enjoyed large practices, were removed from 
the field of action from one cause or another. Hubbard died: 
Origin S. Seymour and Edward W. Seymour, two other able law- 
yers, removed to Bridgeport ; so that Andrews at the age of forty, 
found himself in possession of the largest and best practice in that 
portion of the state. During the next few years his time was 
wholly absorbed in attending to the duties of his profession, and 
he did not enter into politics. In 1878, however, he accepted the 
nomination for representative from Litchfield. At the following 
election Andrews was elected and enjoyed the distinction of being 
the first Republican to hold that office since the Civil War. In 
this session Andrews was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and 
leader of the House, where he made a strong impression as an able, 
earnest, painstaking legislator. It has been said by a writer that 

302 



•t b e Governors of C o n 7i e c t i c u t 

the wisdom as a leader displayed by Andrews at this session was 
what led to his nomination for governor later on. 

In 1878 Andrews was nominated for governor of the state, 
and as the state government had been in the hands of the Demo- 
crats for almost a decade, his chances were thought to be very 
slight. In the election he received a plurality, but was elected by 
the Legislature. In commenting on Governor Andrews' adminis- 
tration, the " Medico- Legal Magazine " says : " During Governor 
Andrews' two years' term of office, several important measures were 
before the Legislature. The boundary line between Connecticut 
and New York, which had remained uncertain for a century and a 
half, in fact, since the foundation of their governments, was at last 
settled by a joint commission, whose report was accepted by the 
legislatures of both states. But by far the most important legisla- 
tion of Governor Andrews' term was the passage of the Connecti- 
cut Practice Act — a measure framed by some of the most eminent 
lawyers in the state to serve the purpose of the codes framed in 
other states for simplifying and reforming the common law plead- 
ings and practice in civil actions. Having the benefit of thirty 
years' experience elsewhere, this act was a model of simplicity and 
practical usefulness, reforming what was cumbersome and intricate 
in the old practice, while it retained the advantage of the sound 
principles and innumerable precedents underlying it. 

" Its success has fully justified the expectations of those who 



The Governors of Connecticut 

procured its passage, and it formed a most important epoch in the 
history of Connecticut legislation." Returning to his practice, 
Governor Andrews was appointed a judge of the Superior Court 
in 1881 by Governor Bigelow. His ability on the bench was 
demonstrated to such a degree that in 1889, ^^ "^^ retirement of 
Chief Justice Park, Governor Bulkeley appointed Judge 
Andrews to that position. Succeeding Chief Justice Park in the 
chief judicial office of the state. Governor Andrews occupied the 
position during a period when some of the most important cases 
in the history of the state were before the court. The celebrated 
quo warranto suit growing out of the deadlock of 1891, the legal 
contest growing out of the legislation regarding the East Hartford 
bridge affair, and the suit of the state against the Aetna Insurance 
Company, were some of the most important matters before the 
court. He was untiring in his work, had a wide range of vision 
which broadened with experience, possessed much sagacity, was 
uncommonly well versed in the law and had the gift of Yankee 
common sense developed to a noticeable degree. It is said that 
many of the more important decisions of the Supreme Court, 
while Judge Andrews was on the bench, were written by him, 
and although occasionally some of his learned colleagues differed 
from his opinion, they all recognized in him ability of a high order, 
great power of analysis, and conceded his thorough knowledge of 
law and the principles of its application. Judge Andrews 

304 



T' b e Governors of Connccticvt 

tendered his resignation as chief justice to Governor McLean on 
June lo, 1901, to go into effect October 1st. It was reluctantly 
accepted by the governor. The General Assembly at the next 
session appointed Judge Andrews a state referee from Decem- 
ber 1, 1901. The ex-governor then retired to his home in 
Litchfield where he lived in partial retirement. In November, 
1901, Governor Andrews was unanimously chosen the delegate 
from Litchfield to the late Constitutional Convention at Hartford, 
held in 1902. He was made presiding officer of the convention 
by practically unanimous agreement, as was Governor Oliver 
Wolcott of Litchfield eighty years before. He attended the 
session very faithfully and spoke occasionally on the f^oor of the 
convention. 

Governor Andrews' wide accomplishments were recognized 
by the leading universities, as he was made Doctor of Laws by 
Yale, Amherst and Wesleyan universities. 

He died very suddenly at his home on South street in Litch- 
field on September 12, 1902. The funeral services were held on 
Monday, September 15th, in the Episcopal Church at Litchfield, 
many state officers being present. 

Of Governor Andrews' career the best estimate was written 
by Charles Hopkins Clark in the "Hartford Courant" as follows 

"Judge Andrews has often and fitly been cited as a fine 
illustration for the younger men ot what chances there are for 

305 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

those who have the sense and ability to improve their opportun- 
ities. He started as a poor and unknown boy and he reached our 
highest and most honored offices by doing as well as he could 
what came upon him to be done, and by avoiding nothing that 
did come. When others declined the empty nomination for 
governor, he accepted, ready alike for defeat or victory; and, when 
he was elected, he filled the office so well that other things 
naturally followed. He proved equal to whatever came and so 
honors kept coming. 

"His name has become a part of the history of the state and 
he has had no small part in guiding its development and 
shaping its laws. Just running over the places he has held 
suggests what a large figure he has cut in our affairs, but one 
cannot know the whole who has not followed closely the details of 
his useful work during his long life." 



306 



Tbe 
FORTY-SEVENTH GOVERNOR 

'?/" 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
HOBART B. BIGELOW 

Born in North Haven and apprenticed to learn 
the machinist trade at the age of seventeen years — 
He purchased the machine shop where he was 
employed and developed the business until it 
stood in the foremost rank of Connecticut's manu- 
facturing establishments— Business qualities and 
personal integrity devoted to public affairs 
resulted in his being honored with the highest 
political trusts in his state, the duties of which he 
fulfilled with business promptness and accuracy 




CZ^^^Y-, 



t^/::— -•i-'^l-C' — *^ 



H O B A R T 



B I G E L O W 



THE career of Hobart B. Bigelow was another brilliant exam- 
ple of the self-made man. By great perseverance and un- 
flagging industry he became one of the first, citizens ot this 
state and a leading business man. He was born in North Haven 
on May 16, 1834. His father was a prominent man in the town, 
and his mother a lineal descendant of James Pierpont, second 
minister of the New Haven Church and one of the founders of 
Yale College. 

The family removed to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 
when the boy Bigelow was ten years of age. He attended the 
public school in that town, and was afterwards a student in an 
academy at South Egremont. At the age of seventeen the young- 
man left school and was apprenticed to William Faulkner of Guil- 
ford, president of the Guilford Manufacturing Company in that 
town. It was his desire to learn the machinist trade but he made 
little progress in Guilford, for eight months after taking up his 
residence there the company failed. Going to New Haven, he 
found employment and continued learning the trade with the old 
New Haven Manufacturing Company. 

When his years of apprenticeship were over Bigelow com- 

309 



T" h e Governors of Contiecticut 

menced work with Ives and Smith, where he remained until 1861. 
Then he purchased the machine shop, later on adding the foundry, 
and by his able management so enlarged the business that in 1870 
they transferred the whole plant to Grapevine Point. He began 
the manufacture of steam boilers and made such a pronounced 
success of the enterprise that at the time of his death a few years 
ago his business was in the foremost rank of Connecticut's great 
manufacturing establishments. It is still one of the representative 
plants of the state. 

Early in his career in New Haven, Bigelow became interested 
in public affairs, and was soon asked to hold positions of trust. 
In 1875 he was elected a Republican representative from New 
Haven to the General Assembly. His popularity in New Haven 
was pronounced, and whenever he was a nominee for office he 
was always successful. Bigelow was elected mayor of New Haven 
in 1878 by an overwhelming majority, and his administration was 
acceptable to all. In 1880 he was elected governor of Connecticut 
on the Republican ticket, and he served in this office for two years. 
After retiring from this position Governor Bigelow never held 
public office again, and devoted his time to his business. He died 
at the New Haven House on October 12, 1891, after a short 
illness. Governor Bigelow showed "by his benevolence, high- 
minded Christian purpose, and unblemished personal character," 
what an influence such a career can have on his fellowmen. He 

310 



T" b e Governors of Connect? v ii t 

left an imperishable record in New Haven which time cannot 
efface, and few men have hved and died in that city who were 
more respected by the community. His son, Frank L. Bigelow, 
was an aide-de-camp on his father's staff and is a graduate of the 
Sheffield Scientific School. 



311 



FORTY- EIGHTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
THOMAS M. WALLER 

Left an orphan at nine years of age, with abso- 
lutely no means of support, he began earning 
his own livehhood as a newsboy on the streets 
of New York— He later became a cabin boy and 
made several long voyages to sea— His native 
ability attracted attention and he was adopted 
by a New London family and educated, be- 
coming one of the ablest barristers and orators 
in this country, honored by political trusts, 
and appointed by President Cleveland as 
United States consul-general at London, England 




^t^J>^^<'<^ ^' ^-<rzu^^^^ 



THOMAS 



McDonald 



WALLER 



IN the lite of Thomas M. Waller there is much romance. It is 
a matter of note that the majority of the governors of Con- 
necticut have been the architects of their own fortunes, and it 
is especially true of Governor Waller. He was born in New York 
about the year 1839 and was the son of Thomas Armstrong. 
His parents died when he was nine years old. Left an orphan 
at this tender age, with absolutely no means ot support, in a great 
city, he began at once to lead the life of a newsboy. From that 
time on he sold newspapers about the crowded streets in the lower 
portion of the city, and every day was filled with hard work. He 
started his successful career at this age by extraordinary devotion 
to duty and submission to the circumstances in which he was 
placed. His best customers were found about the old Tammany 
Hall of those days, and it is said that more than one night he 
" pillowed his head on the steps of the old Tribune building." 

After a while he took to the sea and made several long voy- 
ages as cabin boy and cook-mate. This life agreed with him and 
he probably would have passed his days on the ocean had not a 

315 



The Governors of Connecticut 

circumstance occurred which changed his whole career. In 1849 
he made arrangements to ship to CaHfornia on the " Mt. Vernon," 
sailing from New London. About the time the ship was to sail 
the late Robert K. Waller, of that city, found the boy on the wharf^ 
took a fancy to him at once, and adopted him. Recognizing the 
ability the young man possessed, Waller had him take his 
own name, and the boy was given every advantage by his benefac- 
tor. He attended the schools in New London, and was graduated 
from the Bartlett High School with honors. He then studied law 
and was admitted to the New London County bar in 1861. Soon 
after, however, he enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment, 
Connecticut Volunteers, and was appointed fourth sergeant in 
Company E. 

After going to the front with his regiment Waller was com- 
pelled to resign because of an eye difficulty. Although very young 
he developed unusual oratorical powers and throughout the war 
helped the Federal cause by delivering many patriotic addresses 
during those dark days. His magnetic words gave renewed cour- 
age to many faltering men. Returning to New London, he entered 
the practice of his profession and soon gained an envious reputation 
as an able advocate. At the same time Waller entered politics as 
a Democrat and was an acknowledged leader almost from the start. 

He was elected a representative from New London to the 
General Assembly in 1867, 1868, 1872 and 1876. During the 
316 



T' h e Go V e r n r s o f Connecticut 

last session he was speaker of the House. Waller was elected 
secretary of state on the Democratic ticket with James E. English 
in 1870, and in 1873 was honored by being chosen mayor of his 
adopted city. He was chosen state attorney for New London 
County in 1875, a position which he held until 1883. In 1882 
Waller was nominated for governor and after a memorable campaign 
in which he visited all portions of the state, making speeches in 
his own behalf he was elected by a majority of 2,390 over W. H. 
Bulkeley. He served as chief executive from 1883 to 1835. His 
charming personality, courtly manners and pronounced ability 
made his name famous throughout the country. Soon after retiring 
from the governor's chair in 1885, President Cleveland appointed 
Governor Waller as United States consul-general at London, 
England. He held this position until 1889, when he returned to 
the United States and resumed the practice of his profession. His 
famous speech at St. Louis in 1888, when he placed in nomination 
Grover Cleveland, for president proved remarkable as oratory. He 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1901. 

Governor Waller has held no political office of late years but 
has attained great eminence at both the Connecticut and New 
York bar. A writer in commenting on his career says : "Gov- 
ernor Waller has consistently been a Democrat in politics. He 
has been frankly independent on many occasions in convention of 
his party, and in other places of partisan debate. As an orator 

317 



1' h e Governors of Connecticvt 

he is impressive to a degree which, on occasion of party strife in 
important gatherings, had given him a magnetic hold of men, and 
no man of his party in the state has so often carried conviction by 
the power of eloquence or any other influence." 



318 



FORTY-NINTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
HENRY B. HARRISON 

An instructor in a private school who attained 
scholarship at Yale and was graduated with 
the highest honors the college could bestow — 
He studied law, became an anti-slavery leader, 
and was prominent in the organization of the 
Republican party in this state — His first politi- 
cal service began in his native city of New 
Haven and led to the governorship, grac- 
ing the office with his scholarly dignity 





/3. f}x:(yM^^^''^v^>^ 



HENRY 



BALDWIN 



H A R R I S O N 



HENRY Baldwin Harrison, one of the first members of the 
Republican party in Connecticut, and a distinguished law- 
yer of the state, was born in New Haven on September 1 1, 
1821. He was the son 'o{ one of [the thrifty, honorable 
old Connecticut families. As a [youth he was a student, and he 
became an assistant teacher in the famous old-time school at New 
Haven, of which John E. Lovell was principal. He was fitted 
for college by Rev. George A. Thatcher, afterwards president of 
Iowa College, and a distinguished scholar. Entering Yale in 1842 
the young collegian attained scholarship, at the same time con- 
tinuing his duties as an assistant in Lovell's school. He was grad- 
uated in 1846 as valedictorian of his class and with the highest 
honors the college could bestow. 

In the fall of 1846 he commenced the study of law with 
Lucius A. Peck, Esq., and after being admitted to the bar began 
practice in partnership with Peck. Harrison became interest- 
ed in politics, and recognized as an anti-slavery leader in Con- 
necticut. In 1854 he was elected a member of the State Senate as 

321 



r h 



) c 



G V 



r II r 



a f C n n c c t i r u t 



a Whig. While a member of that body he was the author of the 
Personal Liberty Bill, and as an active Whig in 1855 was success- 
ful in bringing about the nullification of the fugitive slave law. 
During the years 1855-6 he was one of the men who were prom- 
inent in organizing the Republican party in this state. He was 
the nominee of the party for lieutenant governor in 1857, ^^^^ ^^^ 
defeated. 

In 1865 Harrison again represented New Haven in the 
General Assembly and his name was frequently mentioned for 
United States senator and governor. During this session he 
became chairman of the House Committee on railroads and in 
Federal relations. He constantly and eloquently advocated the 
bill giving negroes the electoral franchise. In 1873 ^^ again repre- 
sented New Haven in the lower house of the General Assembly 
and was a member of the Judiciary Committee. In 1874 he was 
the Republican candidate for governor but was defeated by Charles 
Robert IngersoU. He was again returned to the General Assem- 
bly as a representative from New Haven in 1883, and was made 
speaker. Harrison was nominated for governor in 1884, ^^^^ after 
a closely contested canvass was elected. Governor Harrison served 
the state in an able manner for two years, retiring in 1887. 

Devoting himself absolutely to his large legal practice, Gov- 
ernor Harrison lived quietly at his home in New Haven where he 
was esteemed as one ot the most honored residents ot the city. A 



322 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Yale biographer has said of Governor Harrison : "Probably his 
unwillingness to be drawn away from the profession of his choice 
has more than anything else hindered his receiving political honor." 

Governor Harrison died at his home in New Haven on Octo- 
ber 29, 1901, and his funeral was attended by the state's leading 
citizens. 

Charles Hopkins Clark in "The Hartford Courant" paid glow- 
ing tribute to the brilliant governor and friend : "Connecticut born, 
Connecticut bred, the first scholar of his year in Connecticut's oldest 
college, he passed his whole life in his native state and will sleep in 
a Connecticut grave. From his youth he took a good American's 
interest in politics, scorning the selfishness that devotes a clear 
brain and eloquent voice to the unremitting pursuit of private gain. 

"As we write his name the later years vanish like a mist and 
we see again the Harrison of Capitol Hill — the noble head, the 
keen intellectual face, the unfailing dignity, the unfailing cour- 
tesy. We hear again the voice that never lacked the fitting word, 
always had political conscience behind it and often rose to true 
eloquence. It seems a strange thing that Henry B. Harrison 
should be dead. We bid farewell, in this parting, to a loyal and 
scholarly gentleman who gave his state faithful service in public 
and private stations all his life long, and who now enriches her 
with another inspiring memory." 

323 



"The 
FIFTIETH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

•was 
PHINEAS C. LOUNSBURY 

The son of a Ridgefield farmer who during 
his youth tilled the soil with his father, and 
then became a clerk in a shoe store, later 
confidential clerk, then traveling salesman, 
and finally a prosperous manufacturer of 
boots and shoes — Elected to the General 
Assembly, he became one of the leading 
members of that body, a presidential 
elector and governor — After retiring from 
politics he devoted his closing years to 
the development of his financial interests 



P H I N E A S 
CHAPMAN 

L O U N S B U R Y 



PHINEAS C. Lounsbury was born in the town of Ridgefield, 
January lo, 1841, and is descended from sturdy New Eng- 
land stock. The father of Governor Lounsbury was a 
farmer in Ridgefield with an irreproachable reputation. As a 
boy the future governor helped his father on the farm, laboring early 
and late. He found time to attend school and obtain a good 
education. Leaving the little farm, Lounsbury went to New 
York City and secured employment as a clerk in a shoe store. 
In a short time the young man was made confidential clerk to 
the proprietor of the store. He afterwards became a traveling 
salesman for the concern, and intimately acquainted with every 
department of the business. As a "drummer" he was successful, 
and at the early age of twenty-one years decided to engage in 
the manufacture of boots and shoes. He began this industry in 
New Haven under the firm name of Lounsbury Brothers, his 
brother being a partner in the business. The business pros- 
pered from the first and in a short time they had a very lucrative 
trade. They afterwards removed the factory to South Norwalk, 
where it has been operated for a long time as Lounsbury, Math- 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

ewson & Company. His younger brother has been tor a long 
time senior member of the firm. 

Governor Lounsbury demonstrated his patriotism when the 
Civil War commencedby enlisting as a private in the Seventeenth 
Connecticut Volunteers. His army experience was necessarily brief, 
tor soon after reaching the front he was taken sick with typhoid 
fever; and after being in the service tour months he was honor- 
ably discharged. Devoting himself to his business, Lounsbury 
took part in the political discussions of the day and became a 
prominent man in the Republican party. In 1874 he was elected 
a representative to the General Assembly from the town of Ridge- 
field, and became one of the leading members of that body. In 
1880 he was a presidential elector, and did a great amount of hard 
campaign work in support of Garfield and Arthur. Friends of 
Lounsbury put his name forward for gubernatorial honors as early 
as 1882, and his candidacy met with favor in his home county. 
In the Republican State Convention of 1884 there was a strong 
faction in favor of nominating him for governor, but he was de- 
feated. Instead of taking the situation as many men might, he 
set to work to elect the ticket. It has been said that his manly 
course at this time was a great factor in making his name strong at 
the next convention. In the convention of 1886 he was nomina- 
ted for governor and was elected by a good majority. 

Governor Lounsbury served from 1887 to 1889, and left a 
328 



The Governors of Connecticut 

favorable record after him. Since that time he has held no political 
office, but he has devoted his time to the management of the 
Preferred Accident Insurance Company of New York, of which he is 
president, and also the Merchants Exchange National Bank. He 
is distinctly a business man, a friend of the day laborer, a soldier, 
a speaker who can grace any occasion, and withal a thoroughly 
conscientious Christian gentleman. 

A writer has called Governor Lounsbury the second Bucking- 
ham for, says he : "He has the virtues of our well-beloved war 
governor, and like him coming from the ranks of the manufacturer 
and the church and home, to make more conspicuous in public 
station the integrity and personal purity, that are the surest foun- 
dation of Republican institutions." 



329 



FIFTY -FIRST GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
MORGAN G. BULKELEY 

Born in East Haddam, son of one of Amer- 
ica's pioneer families — He began his career 
as an errand boy in a mercantile house, be- 
came confidential clerk and then a partner 
—He went to the front in the Civil War, and 
in years following entered finance and poli- 
tics, becoming president of an insurance 
company which has developed into one of the 
soundestfinancial institutions in the country, 
rising through many political honors to 
the governorship and United States Senate 





^^t^^*^ 



7 




MORGAN 



GARDNER 



BULKELEY 



GOVERNOR Bulkeley is a member of one of Connecti- 
cut's most distinguished families, and his ancestors have 
taken an important part in the aifairs of this common- 
wealth. Peter Bulkeley was born in England in 1583 and suc- 
ceeded his father in the ministry at Woodhull, but was after- 
wards removed for non-conformity. In 1635, in company with 
a number of friends, he founded the settlement at Concord and 
was its first minister. He died in 1659 ^^^^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^ great 
usefulness. 

His son, the Rev. and Hon. Gershom Bulkeley, a leading- 
character in our colonial history, married the daughter of Presi- 
dent Chauncy of Harvard College. Their third child and 
eldest son, John Bulkeley, born at Colchester, April 19, 1705, 
was graduated from Yale College in 1726. He practiced law and 
medicine in his native town, and during the forty-eight years 
of his life held a great number of public offices. For thirty-one 
sessions he was a member of the General Assembly, a member 

333 



The G V e r ?i r s of Connecticut 

of the council, judge of the Superior Court, and colonel of the 
Twelfth Regiment of the militia. His grandson, Eliphalet, was 
father of John Charles Bulkeley of Colchester, and grandfather 
of Eliphalet A. Bulkeley who was one of the leading citizens 
of Connecticut. Studying law, he became interested in finance 
and politics, was one of the founders of the Republican party in 
Connecticut, and its first speaker in the House of Representa- 
tives. He organized both the Connecticut Mutual and Aetna 
Life Insurance Companies, being president of the latter at the 
time of his death in 1872. 

His son, Morgan Gardner Bulkeley, was born in the town 
of East Haddam on December 26, 1837. He removed with 
his flither to Hartford in 1846, and obtained his education in 
the district schools and the Hartford High School. His begin- 
nings in life were of a humble nature, as the first position he 
held was that of an errand boy in a mercantile house in Brook- 
lyn, New York. This was in 1852, and his progress was rapid, 
for in a short time he was confidential clerk, and in a few years 
a partner in the concern. When the Civil War opened 
Bulkeley enlisted in the Thirteenth New York Regiment and 
was at the front under General McClellan during the Peninsu- 
lar campaign. He afterwards served under General Mansfield. 
The elder Bulkeley died in 1872, and Morgan G. Bulkeley 
then removed to Hartford. 

334 



T he Governors of Connecticut 

He immediately entered into the financial and social life of the 
city, and became one of the most prominent men in Hartford. 
To the founding of the United States Bank he gave much time 
and labor, and was its first president. Upon the retirement of 
Thomas Enders from the presidency of the Aetna Life Insur- 
ance Company, Bulkeley was elected as his successor, thus 
becoming its third president. As a financier he always had an 
enviable reputation and is a director of the Willimantic Linen 
Company, the Aetna National Bank, and several other success- 
ful corporations. The wonderful success of the Aetna Life 
Insurance Company may be attributed in no small degree to 
Bulkeley's rare business ability, both as a manager and financier. 

Soon after his removal to Hartford he began to take a keen 
interest in local politics. During the early seventies Bulkeley 
was a councilman and alderman from the fourth ward and in 1880 
was elected mayor of Hartford. He became so popular in this 
office that he was re-elected three times thus serving four terms, 
from 1880 to 1888. 

While mayor he exercised his best ability to transact the busi- 
ness of the city in an economical manner, and was the fearless expo- 
nent of measures which he thought to be for the best interests of 
the city irrespective of partisan feeling. Among the poorer classes 
he has always been very liberal with his fortune and it is said, that 
while mayor of Hartford, Bulkeley gave away every year more 

335 



The Governors of Connecticut 

than he received as his salary. His administration as mayor was so 
successful that his friends thought him a desirable candidate for 
governor. In 1886 Bulkeley's name was presented to the Repub- 
lican State Convention but the enthusiasm over Lounsburv 
was so great that solely in the interest of good feeling the former 
withdrew from the gubernatorial contest. He supported Louns- 
bury in the campaign that followed, and in 1888 was nominated 
by acclamation for governor of the state amid great enthusiasm. 
Bulkeley was elected and took his seat January 10, 1889. His 
administration was characterized by a vigorous determination on the 
part of the chief executive to serve the state as well as possible. 
General Merwin was nominated in 1890 and at the election which 
followed, the first under the present secret ballot law, the result 
showed such a close vote that there was considerable doubt as to 
who was the victor. The returns were not accepted by the offi- 
cials as conclusive, or by the House of Representatives. A long, 
dreary contest followed and as the General Assembly failed to settle 
the question of gubernatorial succession, Governor Bulkeley, acting 
under the constitution, remained in ofBce and exercised the duties 
of governor for the next two years. He retired from the office when 
his successor was duly elected and inducted into office in 1893. 
Governor Bulkeley was elected United States senator to succeed 
General Joseph R. Hawley in January, 1905, and took his seat in 
March of the same year. His speech of acceptance uttered in the 

336 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

hall of the House of Representatives was one of the most appro- 
priate and eloquent efforts heard by a Connecticut General Assembly 
in many years. Governor Bulkeley is still a resident of Hartford 
where he is honored as one of the foremost men of the city. 

He is a member of Massachusetts Commandery Loyal 
Legion ; Robert O. Tyler Post, G. A. R.; Sons of the American 
Revolution; Connecticut Society of the War of 1812; Colonial 
War Society; Connecticut Historical Society, Union League Club 
of New York City, and many of the other patriotic and learned 
organizations of the country. 



337 



The 
FIFTY- SECOND GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
LUZON B. MORRIS 

Born in Newtown, and at the age of seventeen 
learned the trade of blacksmith and tool maker 
— At twenty-one he used his earnings to 
secure an education at the Connecticut Liter- 
ary Institute and Yale College — Choosing law 
as a profession, he entered politics and began 
his long and eminently successful career m 
public life; gained distinction as an author- 
ity on probate law and secured an extensive 
practice in the settlement of estates 




^=>(^j^y^jx^un^^ Pj . ^ MXtoO'-i-^ 



LUZON 



B U R R E T T 



MORRIS 



LUZON B. Morris was the son of Eli G. Morris of New- 
town, and was born in that town on April 16, 1827. He 
attended the district school, and at the age of seventeen 
commenced to learn the trade of a blacksmith and tool maker. 
During the next four years the young man worked hard and 
saved his money, having one object in view, and that was to 
obtain a good education. At twenty-one he had accumulated suffi- 
cient means to enable him to begin studying. He entered the 
Connecticut Literary Institute of Suffield and prepared for Yale 
College, which he entered in 1850. He would have been grad- 
uated in 1854, but for some reason he left college during his 
senior year and did not receive his degree until four years later- 
After leaving college he went to the town of Seymour, where 
he engaged for a short time in the manufacturing business, at 
the same time studying law. In 1855 he became a student at 
the Yale Law School, and after pursuing his studies there one 
year was admitted to the bar. Morris returned at once to 
Seymour, where he began the practice of law. The popular 

341 



The Governors of Connecticut 

confidence in his ability was very marked from the first. In 
1855 and 1856 he represented Seymour in the General Assem- 
bly with great success. He removed to New Haven in 1857 ^^^ 
made that city his home during the remainder of his life. Then 
began his long and eminently successful career in public iite. 
Morris was elected judge of probate for the New Haven district 
for six successive terms, from 1857 ^^ 1863, and in 1861 became a 
member of the New Haven Board of Education, which position he 
held for a long time. ' He was elected representative from New 
Haven to the General Assembly in 1870, 1876, 1880 and 1881. 
In 1874 he served as senator from his district and was president 
pro tern, during that session. 

During the period that Judge Morris was serving in the 
Legislature he carried on his extensive law practice, which con- 
sisted in a large measure in the management and settlement of 
estates. This necessarily entailed a vast amount of labor, yet Judge 
Morris was able to serve both ends in an able manner. His long 
experience as judge of the New Haven Probate Court, made him 
unusually well qualified for the settlement of estates. Any estate 
that was placed in his hands received the same careful attention, 
no matter whether it was that of a poor farmer or Daniel Hand, 
the millionaire. 

In 1880 Judge Morris was appointed a member of the com- 
mittee to permanently settle the boundary controversy between 

342 



The Governors of Connecticut 

Connecticut and New York. A committee was formed in 1884 to 
evise the probate laws of the state, and Judge Morris was appointed 
its chairman. Having always been a pronounced Democrat, 
Judge Morris became the candidate of that party for governor of 
the state in 1890. In the election which followed he received a 
plurality, but not a majority, over his opponent. General Merwin ; 
and in the deadlock which followed. Governor Bulkeley held over 
his term until 1892. Much partisan excitement was aroused 
during these years of controversy, but Judge Morris remained per- 
fectly conservative and very dignified. He was renominated for 
the same office in 1892 and received 82,787 votes at the polls, 
6,042 more than General Merwin, the Republican candidate. Gov- 
ernor Morris served from 1893 ^^ ^^95 ^^*^ reflected credit upon his 
party, although his administration was a very quiet one. During his 
second year as chief executive Governor Morris was made a director 
of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company. 

After retiring from the governorship he again took up his 
practice of law. He was enjoying apparent good health, but on the 
morning of August 22, 1895, Governor Morris was stricken with 
apoplexy while at work in his office. He was removed to his 
home but died soon after reaching there. He left a widow and 
several children, one of whom, Robert Tuttle Morris, is a well- 
known New York surgeon; a daughter is the wife of President 
Arthur T. Hadiey of Yale University. 

345 



FIFTY-THIRD GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

zvas 
OWEN VINCENT COFFIN 

His early days were spent on his father's farm 
in Mansfield, New York, where he was born — 
After leaving the seminary he taught school, 
and later became a salesman in a wholesale 
mercantile house, subsequently a partner in a 
successful firm, and then a banker, insurance 
president, and executive in a score of public 
and quasi-public interests — In his election to 
governorship he received highest vote ever 
reached by any candidate up to that time 




c^^^^^^ 



■OWEN 



VINCENT 



COFFIN 



OWEN Vincent Coffin was born in Mansfield, Dutchess 
County, New York, June 20, 1836; descending from 
Tristram Coffin, who emigrated from England in 1642, set- 
tled in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and in 1660 went to Nantucket 
where he was a sort of William Penn among the Indians of the 
island, dying there in 1681. A homestead at Portledge, in Devon- 
shire, England, has been held by membei-s of the Coffin family for 
centuries. 

Governor Coffin is the son of Alexander Coffin and Jane 
Vincent, and is a descendant in the seventh generation from 
Tristram Coffin mentioned above. He passed his early days on 
his father's farm, and was educated at the Courtland Academy 
and the Charlotteville Seminary. After leaving the seminary he 
taught school and then removed to New York City, where he 
was a salesman in a wholesale mercantile house. From the age 
■ of nineteen to twenty-five he acted as the New York representative 
-of a large Connecticut manufacturer. He subsequently became 

347 



'T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

a special partner in a very successful firm in New York. 

He married the daughter of Linus Coe (>f Middle town in 1858, 
and removed to that city in 1864. 

When Civil War threatened the nation he was anxious to 
enlist but was excluded from doing so on account of his inability 
to pass the physical examination. He was patriotically inspired, 
however ; sent a substitute, and aided the cause in every way he 
could. 

Soon after settling in Middletown his rare managerial ability 
was recognized, and he became the active executive officer of the 
Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank. This position he held for 
fifteen years, when ill health compelled him to retire. He was 
mayor of Middletown in 1872 and 1873 and made a popular 
official. His health having returned, he was elected president of 
the Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company, an office he still holds. 
He has been president of the Middlesex County Agricultural 
Society, and later was a director and vice-president of the First 
National Bank of Middletown. 

Coffin was elected senator from the twenty-second district in 
1886, and again in 1888, thus serving two terms. He received a 
good majority in a district where there had been only two Repub- 
lican victories in a generation. 

Governor Coffin was never a seeker for public office, but many 
have been thrust upon him. From 1890 to 1895 he held over a 

348 



'The Governors of Co n n e c t i c u t 

score of public and quasi-public offices, among which was the 
treasurer of the Air Line Railroad Company. He filled all these 
offices in a satisfactory manner. 

In 1894 the Republicans of the state nominated Coffin for 
governor, and his popularity was abundantly demonstrated at the 
following election, when he received 83,974 votes, and a plurality 
of 17,000 over Cady, the Democratic nominee. This was the 
highest vote ever reached by any candidate for a governor of 
Connecticut up to that time. 

Governor Coffin served from 1895 to 1897, and although his 
administration was uneventful, he impressed the people of the state 
as being an able chief executive. 

At this writing in November, 1905, Governor Coffin still lives 
in Middletown and is one of Connecticut's representative men. 
"Anyone who has been fortunate enough to meet this genial, 
whole-souled ex-governor," says a writer, " will not soon forget the 
cordial handshake and the pleasant words of welcome he has for all." 



349 



The 
FIFTY-FOURTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

ivas 

LORRIN A.COOKE 

Born in Massachusetts, and began his career 
as a school teacher, later becoming a prosperous 
manufacturer— He entered public life at the 
age of twenty-five years when he was elected 
to the General Assembly, and progressed 
through the various political capacities to 
president pro tern, of State Senate; lieu- 
tenant governor to the governorship — His 
public services also led him to honors from 
religious bodies and many recognitions of 
trust which he discharged conscientiously 




Q/-^'-/^yt^L^(0(Hm4^ 



I 



L O R R I N 



A L A N S O N 



COOKE 



SOLOMON Cooke, the great-grandfather of Lorrin A. 
Cooke, was a soldier in the Continental Army, and his son, 

Lewis Cooke, served in the War of 1812. Another ancestor, 
Benjamin Wheeler, was the first white settler in New Marlboro, 
Massachusetts, and a prominent citizen of Berkshire County. 

Lorrin A, Cooke was born in New Marlboro, April 6, 1831, 
and when quite young his father removed with the family to Nor- 
folk, Connecticut. The young man attended the district schools of 
the town and afterwards received a good academical education at 
Norfolk Academy. During his early manhood Cooke was a 
very successful school teacher. He first entered public life in 1856, 
when at the age of twenty-five years he was elected representative 
to the General Assembly from the town of Colebrook. 

In 1869 he was chosen secretary, treasurer and manager of 
the Eagle Scythe Company of Riverton, and continued in that 
capacity for the next twenty years. Cooke was a senator 

353 



The Governors of Connecticut 

from the eighteenth district in 1882, 1883 and 1884, and 
during the last session served as president pro tern, of that body. 
While a member of the General Assembly, Cooke was chair- 
man of the Committee on Engrossed Bills, a position which 
attracts little public attention but calls for a vast amount of labor. 
He was appointed by the Senate a special committee to make an 
investigation of certain affairs in connection with the Storrs Agri- 
cultural School. 

He was postmaster in his town in the early eighties. In 1885 
he was elected lieutenant governor of the state on the Republican 
ticket. He was re-elected to the same position in 1895 on the 
ticket with Coffin, 

Always taking a great interest in religious matters, Cooke 
was chosen moderator of the National Congregational Council 
held in Chicago in 1886. He was chosen a delegate at large to 
the Republican National Convention at Minneapolis in 1892. 

In 1896 Cooke was elected governor of Connecticut, 
receiving 108,807 votes against 56,524 for the silver Democratic 
candidate. This Republican majority of over p,ooo was the 
largest that a candidate of that party had ever received in this 
state. This unprecedented flood of ballots was proof of his undi- 
minished popularity throughout the state. He served the state 
well and retired in 1899, after having conducted a most successful 
administration. 

354 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

Governor Cooke occupied no public offices after his retire- 
ment. He died at his home in Winsted, August 12, 1903. A 
newspaper writer summed up his career as follows : 

"In the death of Lorrin A. Cooke the State of Connecticut 
loses a loyal son. Beginning as a poor boy with limited acquaint- 
ance and only such opportunity as he might make for himself, 
he became a man of prominence and influence, trusted by his fel- 
low citizens to do much important work for them and finally 
chosen by them to hold the highest office in the gift of the people. 
His strength lay in the confidence people felt in him. They knew 
that he was a God-fearing, Christian man, desirous to do right, 
and not afraid of duty as it disclosed itself to him. Whatever was 
entrusted to him to do was done to the best of his ability, and when 
he had satisfactorily discharged one responsibility another was sure 
to be laid upon him. It may be doubted by his friends whether 
the two years of his governorship were the pleasantest of his 
life. Its burdens and responsibilities are a constant load upon the 
conscientious occupant of the office — and he fully realized what 
they were. Socially, Governor Cooke was approachable, cordial 
and democratic. Everybody knew him and he had the confidence 
and respect of a wide circle of devoted friends." 



355 



"the 
FIFTY-FIFTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
GEORGE E. LOUNSBURY 

The son of a Connecticut family, tem- 
porarilv residing in New York State-His 
parents removed to Ridgefieid when he was 
less than one year old-At seventeen years 
of age he became a school teacher, working 
on his father's farm during the summer, 
and at the age of twenty, entirely self- 
prep a r e d . entered Yale College where 
he was graduated with honors -He then 
became a clergyman, and later a manu- 
facturer-During a period of twenty-seven 
years he persistently refused political office 




tySir^^l ^_ 




GEORGE 
\ EDWARD 

LOUNSBURY 



THE second Governor Lounsbury was born on May 7, 1838, 
in the town of Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New 
York, where his father and mother were temporarily living. 
He was the fifth child of Nathan and Delia Scofield Lounsbury, and 
brother of ex-Governor Phineas C. Lounsbury. All of his imme- 
diate ancestors were natives of Stamford, and Governor Lounsbury 
was in reality a native of this state. His parents removed to 
Ridgefield when their son was less than a year old, and since that 
time he made the town his home. For over sixty years he resided 
in the farm house that his father owned before him. He attended 
the district school and received all the training that the ordi- 
nary country school was capable of in those days. When seven- 
teen years of age the youth commenced to teach school, and 
followed the occupation three winters, working on his father's farm 
in summer and studying during his spare time. At the age of 
twenty, entirely self-prepared, Lounsbury entered Yale Col- 
lege, where he gained a reputation for being a thorough student. 

359 



T/6<? Governors of Connecticut 

His career at Yale was quite brilliant and he was graduated in 
1863 with high honors. Although the parents of Lounsbury 
were Methodists, he embraced the Episcopal faith and entered the 
Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown to prepare for the minis- 
try. He was graduated from that institution in 1866, and for a 
year or more had charge of the Episcopal churches in Suffield and 
Thompsonville. A member of his congregation says: "He 
is still remembered for the eloquence of his sermons and the kind- 
heartedness of his parish work. A swelling of the muscles of the 
throat, brought on by over-training in elocution and threatening to 
become chronic, caused him to refuse to take the vows of priest- 
hood and to enter upon a career of business." 

Clergyman Lounsbury formed a partnership with his brother, 
Phineas C. Lounsbury, and began the manufacture of shoes in 
New Haven. Later the concern removed to South Norwalk, 
where the business has been successfully carried on for many years, 
and he became the senior member of the firm of Lounsbury, 
Mathewson & Company. 

During a period of twenty-seven years, Lounsbury persistently 
refused to accept any political office, but in 1894 he was nomi- 
nated for senator in the twelfth district. His popularity was 
demonstrated at the election that fall which resulted in a victory for 
him of over 1,300 majority. During the session of 1895 he was 
chairman of the Committee on Finance, "which," says a prominent 

360 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

newspaper, "was distinguished for its ability and the unanimity with 
which its reports were accepted by both houses of the Legis- 
lature." 

He was re-elected in 1896 by over 2,700 majority, which 
was a larger vote than any other Republican candidate received in 
his district. He also ran considerably ahead of the McKinley 
election, a record that was equalled only by one other senator in 
Connecticut. In the session of 1897 Lounsbury was chairman of 
the Committee on Humane Institutions. He distinguished him- 
self to such an extent that the Republican leaders saw in him the 
most desirable candidate for governor, and at the convention held 
in August at New Haven, Lounsbury was accordingly nominated 
for that high office. 

In the election which followed, Lounsbury received 81,015 
votes against 64,227 for Daniel N. Morgan, the Democratic can- 
didate. He was inaugurated governor of Connecticut on January 
4, 1899, and served the state acceptably for two years, retiring on 
January 9, 1901. 

The "Hartford Courant" said in 1902 of Governor Louns- 
bury: "His home is that of a thrifty, well-to-do farmer. Wealth, 
which would have been spent by many men in more showy ways of 
living, has been used by him in helping the poor. He has not been 
conspicuous in large donations to rich churches or to the fashion- 
able charities of the day, but has rather sought the needy and helped 

361 



The Governors of Connecticut 

them over the rough, hard places. There are scores of famihes 
who have had a better Hfe, because he has been content with his 
simple style of living." 

Governor Lounsbury was one of the most companionable of 
men, and his simple, unaffected cordiality won for him a vast circle 
of friends and admirers. He died in August, 1904, at his home 
in Ridgefield, and was buried in that town. By his will he made 
several public bequests. 



362 



I 



"The 
FIFTY-SIXTH GOVERNOR 

of 

CONNECTICUT 

was 

GEORGE P. McLean 

Born in Simsbury, and after attending the district 

HarTfo^.' H-'l'r'^' '^ ^'^ ^'-'^^^'^ ^-- S 
Hartford High School and began life as a news- 
paper r.^r- Deciding upon the profess on 
of law. he entered an attorney's office and 
prepared himself for the bar-At twenty 
S.X years of age he was elected to the Gen- 
eral Assembly _ At twenty-eight years of age 
he became a leader in the State Senate, and 
a bnlhant record led him on to the governor- 
ship, where he attained reputation as a statesman 




t<Zoi^_ 



GEORGE 



PAYNE 



M c L E A N 




EORGE Payne McLean was bom in Simsbury on Octo- 
ber 7, 1857. His father, Dudley B. McLean, was a leading 
farmer, and the governor's grandfather, Rev. Allen McLean, 
was pastor of the Congregational church in the same town for over 
half a century. 

The McLeans have been prominent in the history of Simsbury 
from the colonial period and the name has long been an honored 
one in that section. Governor McLean's mother, Mary Payne, 
was a daughter ot Solomon Payne, a man of prominence in Wind- 
ham County, and a direct descendant from Governor William 
Bradford and Captain John Mason. The boy attended the 
public schools of Simsbury during the winters of his boyhood and 
labored on his father's farm in the summers. When he had com- 
pleted the course of study offered by the Simsbury schools, he went 
to Hartford and became a student in the High School of that city. 
He was chosen editor of the school paper during his junior year 
and exhibited at that early age ample manifestation of his pro- 

365 



1' h e Governors of Connecticut 

nounced ability. Graduating from the High School in 1877, 
McLean entered the ofRce of the "Hartford Post" where he became 
a reporter at a salary of seven dollars a week. He did much good 
work for that paper and remained on the staff for two years, 
but finding the life unattractive he turned his attention to the 
law. McLean then entered the law office of the late lamented 
Henry C. Robinson at Hartford. While pursuing his studies, he 
supported himself by keeping books for Trinity College for which 
he received $300 a year. He was admitted to the bar in Hartford 
in 1881, thoroughly fitted for the profession as has been demon- 
strated by his subsequent career. A writer has said of McLean: 
" Embracing this profession, he made no mistake. It is exactly 
suited to his temperament. He has the mind of an advocate and of 
a jurist as well. He is able to get all there is in a case; he prepares 
his cases thoroughly and is an able cross-examiner." 

When he began to practice law, McLean continued in 
the Robinson law office, but lived in Simsbury where he had 
always made his home. His law practice grew rapidly and he soon 
became not only a leading lawyer, but one of the Republican lead- 
ers. Although very young, he was successful in " holding his own 
against all comers," as a writer remarked. He was elected a Repub- 
lican member of the House of Representatives from Simsbury 
in 1883. His career in the Legislature was uncommonly brilliant 
for so young a man, and he made a record there that was not soon 

366 



T" h e Governors of Connecticut 

forgotten. He was the chairman of the Committee on State's Prison, 
and was instrumental in making a radical change in the methods of 
hearing petitions for pardons from the prisoners. He prepared a 
bill which provided for the present Board of Pardons, consisting of 
the governor ex-officio, the chief justice of the Supreme Court and 
certain other members of the bench, a doctor and sundry citizens. 
Previous to this, all petitions from inmates of the prison were heard 
by the General Assembly. His bill met with speedy approval 
and acceptance; the board was organized in the fall of 1884; 
McLean was made its clerk and remained in that position until he 
was elected governor. In 1885 Governor Henry B. Harrison, 
remembering the fine legislative work of McLean, appointed him 
on a commission to revise the statute law of the state. Although 
only twenty-nine years of age, he ably performed this delicate task. 
His associates on the commission were judges: James A. Hovey, 
Augustus H. Fenn and R. J. Walsh. McLean was induced 
to enter the field in 1885' for the nomination as senator in the third 
senatorial district. He was duly nominated, elected by a large 
majority and took his seat in the Senate in 1886, where he at once 
became a leader. McLean was a prominent speaker in the 
presidential campaign of 1888, and to him was due much of the 
credit for the Republican majority in Connecticut. 

In 1890 he became the candidate for secretary of state on the 
Republican ticket, but as that was the year of the famous "dead- 

367 



T' h f Governors of Connecticut 

lock," McLean was not elected. The entire Connecticut con- 
gressional delegation recommended McLean for United States 
attorney in 1892, and President Harrison appointed him to that 
position. He filled the office for four years and did so well that he 
won for the government every criminal case that was tried, and 
every civil case except one. During this period he was also coun- 
sel for the state comptroller and for the state treasurer, and repre- 
sented the state in the action brought by the corporation of Yale 
University in 1893, seeking to enjoin the state treasurer from pay- 
ing to Storrs Agricultural College any part of the funds accruing 
to the State of Connecticut under certain congressional enactments 
of 1862 and 1890. " McLean's professional work in the conduct of 
these cases," says Joseph L. Barbour, " and in the preparation of the 
argument before the commission was of the highest order, won for 
him the commendation of the leading lawyers of the state, and 
resulted in a substantial victory tor the cause." ?vlc Lean's name 
was put forward early in 1900 for the Republican nomination for 
governor and he received the same in the convention which met in 
New Haven on September 5th. When being informed of his nomi- 
nation, McLean went to the convention hall and made a short 
speech, which was pronounced at the time to be "a masterpiece of 
tact and eloquence, exactly suited to the somewhat peculiar con- 
ditions of the moment." 

McLean said in part: "The information which I have just 

368 



The Governors of Connecticut 

received at the hands of your committee is dearer to me than any- 
thing else I have ever heard, or shall hear, until I am notified of 
my election. It would be impossible for me to express to you, and 
to each and every one of you, my gratitude. I am the candidate 
of the best party on earth, and for the highest office in the gift of 
the people of the best state in the Union, You have put your con- 
fidence in me; you have conferred upon me a great honor and a 
sacred trust. It is unnecessary for me to say that if elected I shall 
be elected without pledge or promise to any man save the one I 
shall make to every citizen of Connecticut, without regard to party, 
when 1 take the oath of office. It is unnecessary for me to say that 
my sole hope and effort will be to keep unspotted before God and 
man the bright shield of the state I love. 1 don't pretend to be 
better than my fellow-man. My life has its blunders and its regrets. 
There are thousands of men in Connecticut as well qualified, and 
better than I am, to hold the office that I aspire to, and shining 
among that number is the distinguished gentleman (Hon. Donald 
T. Warner) who opposed me in this convention." 

During the campaign, McLean was enthusiastically received 
by audiences in all parts of the state. At the following election he 
was elected by a large majority, receiving 95,822 votes to 81,421 
for Judge Bronson, the Democratic candidate. He was inaugurated 
governor of Connecticut, before a vast audience, in the House of 
Representatives, on Wednesday, January 9, 1901. As governor of 

369 



The Governors of Connecticut 

this commonwealth, McLean fulfilled all the predictions his most 
ardent admirers claimed for him, and he was universally admired in 
every portion of the state. In "Judge's History of the Republican 
Party," is this tribute to Governor McLean: "McLean is a young man 
of sterling character and of amiable disposition. He is always open 
and above board in dealings with his fellows, and can be relied 
upon in every particular. His success is the result of application 
and ability, and when this is truthfully said of any man it is a say- 
ing of which he may well be proud. No man can succeed who 
does not have qualification or who does not enjoy to a marked 
degree the confidence of the community. A man must hew his way 
to the top, but he cannot succeed even so unless he has a character 
behind the hewing. McLean is always affable and approachable. 
These in any one are desirable attributes much more so in any one 
who strives to be a leader at the bar or in the public life, and to 
represent the people in important capacities. And then, too, 
McLean is one of the most eloquent of men. It is a delight to 
listen to his orations. His words have that sincere ring which must 
be true of any eloquence, and they are aptly chosen. The strength 
of fact and argument are these, and so is the beautiful form without 
which much of the power is lost. If McLean had no further record 
to leave than the one he has already made, Simsbury and Hartford 
would have the right to enroll him high on its list of worthies, but 
it is prophesied by citizens of acute observation that he is certain 
to be chosen to even higher places of usefulness." 



FIFTY-SEVENTH GOVERNOR 

of 
CONNECTICUT 

was 
ABIRAM CHAMBERLAIN 

A thorough business man. representative of 
the old New Englander— He was born in Cole- 
brook, the son of a civil engineer and farmer 

For a time he worked for his father, and then 
learned the trade of rule making— Later he be- 
came a bank clerk, bank teller, cashier and 
finally bank p r esi d e n t — His first public 
service was in the Common Council at Meri- 
den, and later in the General Assembly — 
As state comptroller he established a business 
record which led to his election as governor 



A B I R A M 



CHAMBERLAIN 



ABIRAM Chamberlain is a fine example of the self-made man 
and his career in business is similar in its results to that ot 
Huntington, the elder Griswold and English, all famous 
predecessors in the important office of chief executive ot this 
commonwealth. He comes from the best New England stock. 
On his paternal side he is descended from Jacob Chamberlain, who 
was born in Newtown, now Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1673, 
and on the maternal side he is a descendant in the eighth gen- 
eration from Henry Burt of Roxbury, Massachusetts. His father's 
name was Deacon Abiram Chamberlain, and he was for many years 
a resident of Colebrook River, with a reputation for goodness and 
uprightness that was a byword for many miles in each direction 
Deacon Chamberlain was a civil engineer and farmer, and his abil- 
ity in the former profession was marked and well known. Governor 
Chamberlain was born at Colebrook River on December 7, 1837, 
and spent his early years in that town where he attended the public 
schools. Later he studied at Williston Seminary, at Easthampton, 
Massachusetts, and made a special study of civil engineering. In 
1856, Governor Chamberlain's father and the rest of the family 

373 



'T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

removed from Colebrook River to New Britain, then a growing vil- 
lage. The governor took up civil engineering for a time in com- 
pany with his father. Then he learned the trade of rule making; 
but his career in life was not destined to be at a factory bench, but 
in the more important world of finance. 

When a young man he entered the New Britain National 
Bank, commenced in a subordinate position and was soon teller of 
the institution, an office he held with success for five years. His 
ability as a banker was such that at the age of thirty, in 1867, 
he was elected cashier of the Home National Bank of Meriden, 
and he then removed to the city. 

His career in the Meriden bank and his extensive finan- 
cial experience of many years has made him one of the leading 
bankers, not only of the state, but of New England as well. Dur- 
ing the time that he has been connected with the Home National 
Bank, Governor Chamberlain has also been deeply interested in 
other financial institutions of Meriden and has been for some time 
vice-president of the Meriden Savings Bank. 

On the death of Eli Butler in 1881, Governor Chamberlain 
was elected president of the Home National Bank, a position he 
still holds, and the duties of which he has performed with eminent 
ability and success. 

In all questions that have had the welfare of the city of 
Meriden at their foundation. Governor Chamberlain has been a 

374 



The Governors of Connecticut 

persistent champion. Those enterprises that have been the means 
of developing the growth of Meriden have found in him a ready 
helper. He was one of the promoters and subsequently a director 
of the Meriden, Waterbury & Cromwell Railroad, of the Winthrop 
Hotel Company; is a director of the Meriden Cutlery Company, the 
Edward Miller Company and the Stanley Works of New Britain 

In politics, Governor Chamberlain has always been a staunch 
Republican, but he never sought public office and all the honors 
that have come to him were conferred by an admiring public, who 
saw in him an ideal public official. Governor Chamberlain's first 
public office was as a member of the City Council of Meriden; 
later he represented his town in the General Assembly in 1877. 

From then until 1900 Governor Chamberlain did not hold 
public office, nor could he be persuaded to enter the ranks of office 
holders. 

When the Republican State Convention met at New Haven, 
September 5, 1900, and nominated George P. McLean of 
Simsbury for governor. Chamberlain was also nominated unani- 
mously for comptroller of the state. This he accepted and at 
the subsequent election received a large vote, being elected to 
the office. His career as comptroller of the state was so successful, 
and his popularity so great, that on the announcement in 1 902 that 
Governor McLean was not a candidate for re-election, the name of 
Comptroller Chamberlain was at once decided upon by the party 

375 



T' h e Governors of Connecticut 

managers and the public as the man who could carry his party to 
victory. He was nominated for governor at the convention which 
was held in Hartford on September 17, 1902, and at the polls 
received a vote that not only elected him chief executive of the 
state, but was of sufficient size to demonstrate beyond any doubt 
the confidence the people reposed in him. 

Governor Chamberlain was inaugurated on the first Monday 
in January, 1903, and his first address as governor of the state 
called forth liberal praise from newspapers and citizens of all shades 
of political belief. His determination to be governor of all the 
people while in office was abundantly shown when soon after 
his inauguration he called out the armed forces of the state, and 
spent a sleepless night, in his efforts to quell the lawless spirit which 
infested Waterbury during the famous trolley strike of 1903. For 
this action he received the unqualified praise of all and he set an 
example for other chief executives to follow when similar occasions 
arise, and have to be summarily dealt with. 

Governor Chamberlain's administration was characterized by 
a conservative spirit, and he fully justified all that his friends said 
of him previous to his election. 

Wesleyan University conferred upon the governor in 1903 the 
degree of Doctor of Laws. 

Governor Chamberlain is a brother of Mrs. Charles Elliott 
Mitchell of New York, wife of the former patent commissioner of 
376 



I' b e Governors of Connecticut 

the United States under President Harrison, His brother was the 
late Valentine Chamberlain of New Britain, whose death is still 
lamented in Connecticut. 

A biographer has said of Governor Chamberlain: "He is kind, 
genial and courteous, and his dignity, fidelity and ability peculiarly 
fitted him for the high office of chief magistrate of Connecticut. 
The same proverbial success that has always crowned his efforts in 
whatever he has undertaken to do for the good of the public has 
won for him the proud distinction of being a model governor." 



377 



^^^TV-EiOHTH GOVERNOR 

''^ ^^'EC^I CUT 
" ^ ^ R V ROBERTS 

A graduate lawyer anH 

t:o.^« in Brooklyn. NeTv""!""'"''"^^^' ^^o. 
Windsor in early cMdh.'^'^"" ^° South 
^t^d from the acLf ''"^-^^ ^'^s ^radu 
°^ ^ale Univers^t/e T' ^^" ^^P'-t^ n s 

b!g^"ning in the Sty Co ' T''' ^^^^'-e 
fvancedhin.totbeGener?T ^" "^^'^-^d. 
^^"t pro ten., of the l! /'''™'^^>'' Pres^ 

^«-rnor and chie ex.'t ' ''^^'^--nt 
executive nf fu 

^ or the state 



HENRY 



ROBERTS 



FEW men attain high position in pubHc life as quickly as the 
Hon. Henry Roberts, governor of Connecticut, who, eight 
years ago, was not known to the public except as a success- 
ful business man of Hartford, with no apparent ambition to go 
higher in the public service than that of being an alderman in his 
city ward. 

His rise was rapid and deserved, for the closest friends of 
Governor Roberts knew his latent ability years ago and predicted 
he would occupy high offices within the gift of the people. 

Henry Roberts was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Janu- 
ary 22, 1853, ^'^^ ^^ George Roberts, who, for many years, was 
one of the leading business men of Hartford, occupying several 
important offices during his life. 

The ancestors of Governor Roberts were of Welsh origin 
and can be traced to William Roberts who came to this country in 
1654. Another ancestor of a later date was George Roberts, an 
officer of repute in the Revolutionary War. One ancestor on his 
mother's side had such a career as a soldier in the French and Indian 
War that after his death his townspeople erected to his memory a 

381 



^ h e Governors of Connecticut 

monument at Deerfield Cross Roads, in honor of his bravery. 

The first twelve years of Governor Roberts' hfe were spent on a 
farm in South Windsor, and he thus commenced hfe hke many 
another governor of this commonwealth by tilling the soil. He 
attended the schools of South Windsor and the Hartford High 
School where he was graduated in 1873. Then he entered the 
academical department of Yale University and was graduated from 
that institution in 1877. After that he was graduated from the 
Yale Law School but never practiced, as he did not study law for 
that purpose. The next year after his graduation from the law 
school, Roberts entered the office of the Hartford Woven Wire 
& Mattress Company. In 1884 he was made secretary of the 
company and in 1886 became its president. At this writing, 
in November, 1905, he is interested in various other business 
enterprises in Hartford, as was his father, and among some of the 
offices he holds may be mentioned that of director of the Hartford 
Trust Company, the State Savings Bank, the Hartford Electric 
Light Company, the Farmington River Power Company, and a 
trustee of the Slater Industrial School at Winston, North Carolina. 

Governor Roberts takes an active interest in all social affairs 
and he is a member of the Country Club at Farmington, the Hart- 
ford Club, and other organizations of a similar character. He is 
also a member of the Connecticut Society of Colonial Wars, and 
the Sons of the American Revolution. 

382 



T' h e Governors of C o n n e c t i c v t 

Governor Roberts' record as a public official is of the highest 
character, and during the eight years he has been in public life no 
one has any criticism to make of his acts as a public servant. First 
elected an alderman from the sixth ward in 1897, he served for two 
years as chairman of the important Ways and Means Committee- 
In 1898 he was elected a member of the General Assembly from 
Hartford and during the session of 1899 occupied the important 
position of chairman of the House Committee of Finance. He took 
a prominent part in the proceedings of the House and laid the foun- 
dations for his future success at the hands of the people. Elected 
senator from his district in 1900, Roberts was senate chairman of 
the Appropriations Committee and in this position showed his ability 
as a shrewd business man. In 1902 he was elected lieutenant gov- 
ernor on the ticket with Governor Chamberlain, and occupied that 
office two years. In speaking of his record as lieutenant governor 
a New Haven newspaper said: "The cordial esteem of twenty-four 
leading men of the state is something an unworthy man never gets. 
The cordial esteem of all who know him cannot be enjoyed by any 
man not of high class, morally and intellectually. Lieutenant 
Governor Roberts has won a high place in the regard and affections 
of the people of Connecticut, and in our opinion no Senate was ever 
presided over more successfully than the one of 1903, over which 
the favorite son of Hartford wielded the gavel." 

Roberts was nominated for governor of Connecticut at Hart- 

383 



The Governors of Connecticut 

ford on September 14, 1904, and at the election in November he 
was elected by a handsome majority over A. Heaton Robertson of 
New Haven, the Democratic candidate. He was inaugurated on 
Wednesday, January 4, 1905, and his inaugural message delivered 
on that occasion was widely commented on by the newspapers of 
the state. 

The following is an estimate of Governor Roberts by Charles 
Hopkins Clark printed in " The Hartford Courant " the day after 
he was nominated for governor in September, 1904: 

" Being of highest character, experienced in all public affairs, 
loyal to all that relates to Connecticut's best welfare, and ambitious 
only to perform every public duty for the greatest good of the state, 
he is a candidate who commands the respect of all, and the better 
you know him the better you will like him. 

"Sometimes conventions nominate candidates who are like 
bumble bees, in the fact that they are biggest when first born. 
Henry Roberts is not such a candidate. He was big enough to 
get 1 7 1 more votes than the total number given to his three popu- 
lar and powerful rivals. His growth in popularity will increase 
every day of the campaign. He will win by a big plurality. He 
will be the next governor of Connecticut, and be will be one of the 
best governors Connecticut has ever had." 

Governor Roberts' public service has fully justified this predic- 
tion. A study of his record as a public official shows that he is a 

384 



T' h e G V c r n o r s n f Connecticut 

man who thinks intelligently, acts conservatively and fearlessly, and 
whose judgment is sound. His fellow townsmen of Hartford 
expressed themselves in no ambiguous terms when they passed a 
set of resolutions in which they spoke of Henry Roberts thus : 

" In every public position which he has been called upon to 
fill, he has known and appreciated his duty, has discharged that 
duty well. Interested in all that pertains to the public welfare, 
and earnest in its advocacy, in the prime of life, long familiar with 
the industries and activities that have made Connecticut prominent, 

we commend him as one who has 

illustrated in public and private life, the value to a community of 
an honest, capable, fearless, loyal and lovable man." 



385 



<'J 928 



S)